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Early Vancouver 

Volume One 

By: Major J.S. Matthews, V.D. 

2011 Edition (Originally Published 1932) 

Narrative of Pioneers of Vancouver, BC Collected During 1931-1932. 

A Collection of Historical Data, Maps, and Plans Made with the Assistance of 
Pioneers of Vancouver Between March and December 1931. 

About the 2011 Edition 

The 2011 edition is a transcription of the original work collected and published by Major Matthews. Handwritten marginalia 
and corrections Matthews made to his text over the years have been incorporated and some typographical errors have 
been corrected, but no other editorial work has been undertaken. The edition and its online presentation was produced by 
the City of Vancouver Archives to celebrate the 1 25 th anniversary of the City's founding. The project was made possible 
by funding from the Vancouver Historical Society. 

Copyright Statement 

© 201 1 City of Vancouver. Any or all of Early Vancouver may be used without restriction as to the nature or purpose of the 
use, even if that use is for commercial purposes. You may copy, distribute, adapt and transmit the work. It is required that 
a link or attribution be made to the City of Vancouver. 


High resolution versions of any graphic items in Early Vancouver are available. A fee may apply. 

Citing Information 

When referencing the 201 1 edition of Early Vancouver, please cite the page number that appears at the bottom of the 
page in the PDF version only, not the page number indicated by your PDF reader. Here are samples of how to cite this 

Footnote or Endnote Reference: 

Major James Skitt Matthews, Early Vancouver, Vol. 1 (Vancouver: City of Vancouver, 201 1 ), 33. 

Bibliographic Entry: 

Matthews, Major James Skitt. Early Vancouver, Vol. 1. Vancouver: City of Vancouver, 2011. 

Contact Information 

City of Vancouver Archives 

1150 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 3J9 

604.736.8561 \^^ CITY OF \#A kl^"/"\l l\/l~ r* V/\ iNv-Vy \J V 1 l\ 




Item # EarlyVan_v1_001 

Early Vancouver 

A collection of historical data, maps, and plans made with the assistance of pioneers of 
Vancouver between March and December 1931. 

By Major J.S. Matthews, V.D. 



The story of the beginning of Vancouver is relatively modern. Less than fifty years ago, our city 
came into being and only a few years before that, were the first dwellings built by white men 
anywhere on Burrard Inlet. In the light of these facts, there are some who might say that 
Vancouver has no history worth preserving. On the other hand, those who are engaged in 
gathering historical data realise the extreme difficulty amounting almost to an impossibility of 
securing reliable, first-hand information regarding any place or event even after fifty years have 

We are now in this interesting period in Vancouver where there are still surviving a few of the 
early settlers who were here before the fire in June 1886. The next decade or two will see them 
gone. It will then be too late to secure these first-hand personal accounts of events which 
transpired in the early days. 

Realising this, the author of this volume of notes set about the almost insuperable task of 
preserving all that seems worthwhile concerning the early years of the city's existence. 
Insuperable, not so much because of the task, or because of the difficulty of obtaining material, 
but chiefly because of the apathy and indifference which our city now exhibits toward such things. 
In spite of this, the following pages tell a story of enthusiasm, insistence and persistence on the 
part of Major Matthews without which they could not have been created. No sum of money, 
however great, could have bought these notes, because they did not exist; and no amount of 
energy could have created them without that uncanny instinct which their author displayed in their 
collection. Vancouver is under perpetual obligation to Major Matthews for what he has done and 
is doing, and I am proud of having this opportunity of writing these few words of introduction to 
this volume of notes which it is hoped is but the first of many more of a similar nature. 

E.S. Robinson 

Vancouver, B.C. 

31 March 1932 


In the chronicle of human endeavour there is no story more inspiring, no tale more romantic, than 
that of the resourceful, courageous people whose initiative and energy, peacefully, and in the 
briefest period of time, created out of the silent emptiness of dark primeval forests, a monumental 
city of beauty and of culture; an achievement in world history which must forever interest the 
peoples of all nations. 

With jealous care alone should this splendid record be preserved. 

J.S. Matthews 

Kitsilano Beach 

March 1932 



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Scene.-The winding stairs, Vancouver Public Library. May 1 931 . 

Personae.-Two gentlemen, one ascending, the other descending. They greet each other, halt, 
engage in earnest conversation, and part again, one continuing downwards, the other upwards. 

The First. -(turning and calling upwards from below) "I suppose you haven't some place where it 
could be started." 

The Second. -(looking down from landing above) "I believe I have; come back." 

Thus was instituted an endeavour to establish in Vancouver an orderly record of the city and its 
events, its people and their achievements. 

Difficulties were many; so were the expedients. The "place" was a disused room beneath the 
tower of the old City Hall on Main Street, where falling wallpaper entwined with cobwebs hung 
from a ceiling, part of which bent downwards, and part lay on the floor. 

Two old chairs and a half broken desk were brought in as furniture; a cardboard box served for 
filing. Of artificial light and heat there was none. The first archive preserved was the Roll of 
Honour of soldiers of South Vancouver who served in the Great War; the second, a Voters List, 
City of Vancouver, 1886. 

Some days later (23 May 1931), the Vancouver Library Board approved of their Librarian's 
initiative (E.S. Robinson, Esq.), and placed at his disposal one hundred dollars for small 
purchases of archives. In November the Board recommended to the City Council that $2,550 be 
appropriated from city funds during 1 932 for the establishment of a public archives in Vancouver. 







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GRANVILLE end Sunny aide Hotel at 
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Granville, 1882. 

In explanation of the map of the Town of GRANVILLE, 1870 (Trutch.) 

There is extant a somewhat crude sketch of the shorefront, now Water Street, of Granville in 
1882, showing the buildings at that time in very much the same position as they appear in the 
above map, save and except that which is shown as being located in the middle of Carrall Street. 
What this building was, what became of it, and whether or not it was the Deighton Hotel, and was 
moved onto Lot 1 , Block 2, O.G.T., where the Deighton House afterwards stood, has not so far 
been established. 

An article which appeared in the Vancouver Daily Province of 9 September 1929, written by Mr. 
Carter-Cotton (son of the Hon. F.L. Carter-Cotton, of the News-Advertiser), and an early 
Vancouver newspaper reporter — he died in about 1930 — states the buildings in the sketch, which 
is reproduced, are as follows: 

1-Deighton Hotel, Bill Blair, proprietor. 

2-Provincial Government Building and Jail, residence of Jonathan Miller, policeman and tax 

3-Telegraph office. 

4-Mannion's Hotel. 

5-Sullivan's Grocery store, hall above, where fraternal societies met. 

6-ln this location was Louis Gold's general store, which seems to be out of focus (?) 

7-Robertson's Saloon. 

8-Ben Wilson's store, afterwards conducted by Mrs. Wilson. 

9-Trail leading to Spratt's Wharf. 

1 0-On the other side of Wilson's store was Methodist Hall where Rev. C.P. Thompson 

1 1-On the other side of Deighton Hotel, out of sight, was McKendry's shoe store. 

3 March 1931 - Kitsilano Beach. Smelts. Salmon. Elk. 

"About the smelts at Kitsilano Beach?" responded Mr. William (Bill) Hunt of 21 58 Seventh Avenue 
West, "At one time the smelts used to come into the beach, Greer's Beach, in millions. When we 
were camping, about an hour after high tide, somebody would be watching, and would halloo out, 
'Here they are,' and all hands would turn out with all the dish pans they could get, and scoop 
them out onto the beach. At that time they were so thick that I have stood on the beach, in the 
edge of the water, and after getting all I wanted, and would see how many I could pick up in each 
hand before they would go back in the wave. I have picked up seven or eight in each hand. This 
would be from about 1 897 or earlier to about 1 904 or 1 905. 

"It is a matter of anybody's idea of what caused them to quit; whether it was too much trawling, or 
too much traffic, or gill netting. They still come now at Second Beach in Stanley Park, but not so 
many as formerly. They used to be just as thick at what is now Locarno Beach, but when I was 
there last year there were none. In the days I speak of, you could get them in any part of Greer's 
Beach, and it was 'solid' with them, all along. Nowadays there are a few come at the end of the 
beach, now called Greer's Point. 

"It was quite a sight to see them at night; just after the tide had turned; you could go down there 
at night, in the dark, and see them shooting around like balls of fire. They have a peculiar little 
rattle when their tails are wiggling, and when you 'get onto it,' you can hear them; you can tell it 


from the swell. When it is calm, then water is full of phosphorus, and, as soon as they see you, 
they shoot off like balls of fire. 

"When we came back from the Yukon we bought 1 50 feet on the south side of Second Avenue in 
the 2200 block; that was in 1 899. At that time we were the farthest west occupied block on 
Second Avenue. There was with us Murchie, the tea man, Coe or Miller and Coe, the china 
people, and his father, and, I think, afterwards, H.H. Williams, a retired man, came on First 


3 March 1931 - City Halls. Police Station. Water Street. Gastown. 

HP. McCraney, one of our first park commissioners, says that before the fire, the Police Station 
was on the south side of Water Street, just west of Carrall, and that it was there that the City 
Council first met. As he had much to do with Council affairs he ought to have knowledge. 

Immediately after the fire, he says, they went to the famous tent, which stood on the northeast 
corner of Carrall and Alexander streets, almost over the water, and across from where the 
Sunnyside Hotel stood. From there they went to the Oppenheimer Building, a single storey brick 
building on the east side of the lane corner on Powell Street, between the C.P.R. English Bay line 
and Carrall Street, still standing, and now occupied by Henry Darling and Sons, Paints and 
Stains, 28 Powell Street. The City Offices were located there while the new City Hall on Powell 
Street was being built. A peculiarity of both Oppenheimer buildings — one on southeast corner 
Powell and Columbia — is that they were fitted with iron shutters and fastenings; the only building 
so fitted, so far as is known; evidently in fear of another fire such as 1886. 

Alderman L.A. Hamilton, says Mr. McCraney, tells a story about this building, and the new City 
Hall on Powell Street. It is explained that the Oppenheimers were most influential men, and much 
of what they desired to be done was effected; for instance, the original very crooked street car 
line was built to suit them as property owners; they were large landowners, had a large wholesale 
grocery business, and two of them were on the City Council. The single storey brick building had 
a sign, their business name, "OPPENHEIMER BROS" over it, left untouched during the few 
months used as a City Hall. 

Hamilton was walking east on Powell Street one day when a man stopped him; a notorious wag. 
The man asked him where he was going. Hamilton replied, "Up to the new City Hall," pointing up 
the street. The wag looked up at the big sign and said, "Why didn't you take your sign with you 
when you moved?" 


3 March 1931 - Kitsilano Beach. Greer's Beach. Elk. Salmon. 

"As I was telling," continued Mr. Hunt, "one day, it must have been about 1900, I went for a stroll 
along Greer's Beach, towards the 'Hotel Site.' At that time I was living in the 2200 block on 
Second Avenue, and came down what was left of the old skid road. Whether this road was 
connected with the log dump I do not recall, but the old log dump was on the beach in front of 
what is now Tatlow Park. (It was not connected.) All the timber from what is now Kitsilano came 
down into that dump." (Not quite correct.) 

"To get along the beach I had to go when the tide was low, because when the tide was in, the 
water backed up the sloughs which ran in a southeasterly direction as far as Maple Street or 
farther. On reaching a point at what is now the foot of McNicholl Avenue, I turned into the swamp 
to examine the standing timber, and noticed that the wind had blown down a tree, about eighteen 
inches in diameter. It was on the edge of the swamp, and to its roots still clung about eighteen 
inches of moss and earth which had come clean off the hardpan, bringing with it about six inches 
of elk dung, well preserved, and not broken up. The upturned root would be probably ten feet high 
by fifteen wide, and the whole bottom of it was covered with this elk dung. 


"At that time there was a large creek which came down the hill from the direction of Broadway, 
and crossed Third Avenue at Cedar Street and Third Avenue, and entered the bay at the foot of 
Yew Street — about ten yards to the west of the foot. There was another stream which entered the 
bay about the middle of the beach, and I think it must have been connected with the other, but am 
not sure, at about the Henry Hudson School. It ran through the muskeg. 

"The salmon used to go up both streams when the tide was high, and go up as far as Third 
Avenue, where the creek ran in a ditch on the roadside. When the Australian boat first came in, 
the one which inaugurated the All-Red Line, the Warrimoo or Miowera, the sailors used to come 
up to see us at -Greer's Beach, and they were greatly surprised to see the salmon swimming in 
the ditch under the electric light. At that time Third Avenue was a principal street, and had one or 
two electric lights; it was the only street which was open north of Seventh, and was open only as 
far as Vine, where it ran into the forest. 

"Between the two streams I have spoken of there was a high strip of land which ran along the 
beach from about the foot of Yew to halfway between Whyte and Creelman streets produced. It 
was quite narrow, wider at the base than at the point, covered with grass, and with some small 
bushes, green and luxuriant, very convenient for bathers to dress or undress behind. We used to 
come down False Creek by canoe, and camp on this high strip of land for a couple of months; 
others came too, some from Westminster. It would be about 1896 to 1898. It soon got noised 
abroad, more came, and finally the city authorities stopped it on account of sanitary conditions." 


Kitsilano Beach. 

The high strip of land — it was not more than two or three feet about the surrounding swamp, 
though much higher, say ten feet, than the lake which once existed between Maple Street and 
Laburnum Street — was the old site of Mr. Sam Greer's home, almost immediately behind the 
present bathhouse (1 931 ). Ultimately the campers became so numerous, probably about 1 904 to 
1906, that they formed themselves in streets, and spread half way along the beach. When the 
Hon. and Mrs. J.W. De B. Farris, afterwards attorney-general of B.C., were first married, and not 
possessed of the worldly goods they afterwards acquired, they camped on the beach at the foot 
of McNicholl Avenue, one or more summers. 



A gentleman, who has lived many years at 1912 York Street (opposite Henry Hudson School) told 
me recently, that when he went there first he caught trout, to amuse his little daughter, in a small 
creek which ran through his garden. 



Vancouver Herald 

Vancouver News 

Vancouver Daily Advertiser 

News-A dvertiser 

On 30 March 1887, the Vancouver News publishes its last issue, and on Thursday morning, 31 
March 1887, the title becomes 



AND Daily Advertiser. 

The editorial of 31 March announces that the Vancouver News and the Vancouver Daily 
Advertiser have been transferred to a new proprietary. 

Vol. 1, No. 3 of the Vancouver Daily Advertiser is dated 11 May 1886. Vol. 1, No. 104 of the 
Vancouver News is dated 23 October 1886. (Both in U.B.C. Library.) 

The Voters List, City of Vancouver, April 1886, contains an advertisement, as follows in part: 


Best Weekly Paper in B.C. 

14 April 1931 -Falling the trees. The fire brigade, 1887 -Geo. L. Schetky. 

"When I first came to Vancouver in February 1886, before the railway, I lived as a boarder at the 
home of the Reverend Joseph Hall, Methodist minister, who had a little house, almost over the 
inlet, on the north side of Water Street, just west of the foot of Abbott Street — the shore stuck out 
a bit there," said Mr. Geo. L. Schetky, financial agent, Royal Trust Building, Pender Street West, 
and still a very active "young" man. 

"The room in which we had our breakfast faced west, and often, when we were at breakfast, in 
the spring of 1886, we would watch the trees falling on the C.P.R. Townsite; as the 'West End' 
was known. The men were cutting down the trees, and quite close to us, too. It would be hard to 
say just exactly where I first saw them, but it would be about where Spencer Department store is 
now; quite close. We used to watch, and call each other's attention when a big one went down. 

"The picture you have of the procession on Cordova Street, Dominion Day, 1887 (the military 
parade) reminds me that it was just after that parade that we had a fire which frightened us; up 
here, just about the corner of Pender and Howe. They were clearing the land, and the fire got 
away from them, much as it did a year previously at the big fire. You know what [it is] like; a lot of 
dry debris of clearing, and it burned some houses; we had quite a scare for a while." 


8 May 1931 - Kitsilano, how named - Professor Chas. Hill-Tout. 

Kitsilano was named by Professor Hill-Tout. He writes as follows (8 May 1 931 ). 

The manner in which that part of the city we know as Kitsilano got its name, and 
also the significance of the word in the Indian tongue from which it is drawn. 

To the best of my knowledge it came about in the following manner. 

The name by which the Kitsilano district was first known was "Greer's Beach," so 
called because a squatter by the name of Greer had erected a dwelling there, 
near the beach. 

The land was afterwards in control of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and when 
they opened it up for settlement, (note, about 1910) they desired to give the 
district a more suitable name than Greer's Beach, and, knowing that Mr. 
Jonathan Miller, who was then postmaster of Vancouver, was on friendly terms 
with the Indians, they requested him to find an appropriate name for the 

Mr. Miller referred the request to me; knowing that I had given considerable time 
and study to the customs, habits and place names of the local tribe. After some 
little consideration, I chose the hereditary name of one of the chiefs of the 


Squamish people, namely Kates-ee-lan-ogh, and modified it after the manner in 
which Kapilanogh has been modified by dropping the final guttural. We thus got 
the word Kates-ee-lano. This Mr. Miller or the C.P.R. authorities further modified 
by changing the long "a" in the first syllable into an "i," and thus we have 

You may be interested to know that the Indian pronunciation of Kapilano was 
Kee-ap-ee-lan-ogh. This also was an heredity name (not quite correct; hardly 
"hereditary, " but conferred much as the title of a Royal Duke is) of the chief who 
lived near the mouth of the river which we know by this name. Both names have 
the same ending, lanogh. This suffix signifies man. We find it also in another of 
their names; thus, Kalanogh, meaning the first man. 

I could not learn what the significance of the first part of the other two hereditary 
names was; the Indians did not appear to know it themselves. The terms are very 

{Signed) Chas. Hill-Tout 

GREER'S BEACH in early nineties 
(Kitsilano Beach) 

Copyright. NATIVE DAUGHTERS OF B.C. Post No. 1, Vancouver 


(ritEER^Beach^tCiksila-no), Send *o fee, / 9<?c . , 


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17 May 1931 -Greer's Beach. Kitsilano. Mrs. J.Z. Hall of "Killarney." 

"The house which I lived in as a girl was not the first one on the site," said Mrs. J.Z. Hall of 
"Killarney," Point Grey Road, and a daughter of Mr. Sam Greer of Greer's Beach, the first settler 
of Kitsilano. "They told me there had been one there previously. I don't know what happened to it, 
but they told me it was just the same as the one we lived in. 

"Our home was just a small affair, I should think about thirty feet wide by twenty, no, eighteen, no, 
not more than fifteen feet deep, bedrooms on both sides and living room in the middle. There 
were two windows in the front, the door was just a plain door, old style, no glass in it. There was a 
nice little verandah, very comfortable; the roof was shakes, cedar shakes. On the south side next 
where is now the track there was a log milk house, dirt floor, white washed inside, and at the 
back, a lean-to, full length of house, thirty feet, part woodshed, part kitchen. The house was 
painted; no, I do not remember what colour. There were posts to hold the verandah up. 

"In front was a nice garden, lots of flowers, and some fruit trees, protected by a shake fence, 
cedar shakes with points, and a nice little gate to the beach. I remember it very well; the path 
from the front door went straight to the gate, and the path from the gate went straight to the 

"I think we moved it" (the house) "once, when they put the C.P.R. track down. They moved the 
stable from the creek when they put the track down, and I think they must have moved the house 
too sometime or other; it seemed to me that we were always moving. 

"At the back there was a nice kitchen garden, and an orchard, and a path curved off from the 
back door into the swamp, southeast, leading up to the C.P.R. track after that came in. It was out 
of the bedroom window that my father shot the wolf that night; and, in the morning, we found him 
dead in the garden. We had two cows and a horse, and some chickens. The house was papered 


inside; I think it must have been over the shiplap; it was built of boards. Tom Greer, now living at 
Central Park, helped to build it. He was father's half brother. Foster, of Tom Foster Fur Store, I 
think he helped too. We very nearly lived in the boats. 

"Of course, all around at the back there were very few trees; too much swamp. Along the beach, 
and behind, there was small bushes, and small hemlocks. Once or twice the skunks came in," 
and here she laughed, "and we had to get out. There was a little creek along the beach — about 
half way." (See Map of Vancouver 1 886 in Archives.) "Another small stable, which also had spring 
water, and a small one, a creek, over by the present 'hotel site.' All flowed over the beach. The 
whole place was very pretty. 

"We wanted for nothing. If we wanted any trout, we just took a boat, and came along the shore for 
a quarter of an hour. There were lots in the sea and streams," and Mrs. Hall pointed in the 
direction of Tatlow Park, through which runs a small stream, once much larger, before the sewers 
were put in; another was still larger, a little farther west, now entirely disappeared. 

"The smelts, oh, the smelts? We did not bother with them. The smelts were there in shiploads, 
yes, shiploads, you could fill a boat in fifteen minutes. As a girl, I have myself filled three or four 
sacks; potato sacks, and towed them behind the boat. You could almost tip a boat over, and fill it 
with smelts. But they have all gone now. Now, where do you suppose they went to?" (See 
conversation with William Hunt.) 

"Of course, when we went to live on the hill on Nelson Street we used to cut right through the 
clearing and climb the hill. We cut right across from where the Hotel Vancouver is built. We could 
see everywhere, and we used to watch the ships coming in; crawling in. Sometimes warships; 
one a Russian warship. The C.P.R. steamships were the Parthia, Batavia, and Abyssinia. Funny 
boats they were. No cabins or such on deck. I remember the first time we went over them we 
walked all over, and went into all the little cubby holes; everything was below deck. 

"Of course, the sidewalks on Granville Street were three planks, and you had to watch out. At the 
Hotel Vancouver they were four or five feet above ground, and we had to be careful when 
wheeling the baby carriages — we wheeled our babies then — or you would tip baby and all, over. 
We used to hide our things under the sidewalks. Go to church on Sunday, and leave all your stuff 
under the sidewalk, and pick it up when you came out. You could not do that now; it would be 

"The race track was on Howe Street; it must have started about Nelson Street and ended about 
the Hotel Vancouver; I think the grandstand must have been where the hotel stands; it was a long 
affair. Everybody went to the races. When there was a procession, everyone who had anything 
put it in. You see, Victoria had the Queen's Birthday; the big day at New Westminster was May 
Day; we had Dominion Day. We had great times Dominion Day. The celebrations used to last two 
or three days sometimes. We had a wonderful fire brigade. At first they had only the hose reel; 
but afterwards they got an electric (?) engine. Electric (?) engines were just coming out, and we 
got the best; we were one of the first." (Steam engine is probably what was meant, or electric light 
was meant.) 

"Mr. Hall" (J.Z.) "used to board with the Reverend Joseph Hall of the Methodist Church; same 
place Mr. Geo. Schetky of the fire brigade boarded. The Halls kept boarders; they used to sell 
milk, too. I forget just what they used to call his church; it was down on Water Street, north side, 
just west of Abbott Street, afterwards used as a feed store; what was that man's name? He was 
Frank Wright's uncle" (perhaps Arkell.) "Allan had a feed store there long after. 

"My husband told me he has going to Sunday school — he used to teach in Sunday school — and 
was carrying his bible, but went back, and said to Mrs. Hall, Reverend Hall's wife, 'I think I will just 
go and take a look at the fire first,' and put his bible on the table. When he came back the place 
was afire, and nothing could be done. I said to him, 'how long were you gone?' He replied, 'only a 
few minutes. It all happened so quick.' So quick they could not get the cows out, the two cows, 
they were both burned. Mr. Hall helped Mrs. Ben Wilson to get her sewing machine out; he 
hauled or dragged it out into the harbour for her, and she went with it and him; afterwards, a boat 


came and took her to Moodyville. But the most people went off in the direction of Hastings — up 
the road; and they had to get out quick. 

"Another wonderful thing was the canoe parades; they never have them now. It was the prettiest 
thing you ever saw. The Indians used to come from everywhere; the Tsimpsians and all of them; 
that was for Dominion Day. And at night the illuminations were simply wonderful. They used to 
have lanterns in their canoes, and go 'sailing' up and down the harbour; it was really beautiful." 
(See A.E. Beck, etc.) 

"It seems to me that you must be wrong about the parade on Dominion Day, 1887, coming up 
Granville Street; I don't think Granville Street was open then." (Note: Granville Street was graded 
in the early summer of 1 887.) "It might have been." (A newspaper account of the parade says it 
was.) "I thought Water Street came as far as about Seymour Street, and we went up that way to 
Hastings Street. It might have been though. You see, the town was away down towards Carrall 
Street, and it seems to me that we went some way — just how I cannot remember — from the 
C.P.R. Depot along the bottom." (See H.P. McCraney, and the Great Fire.) "Of course, in those 
days there was nothing on Hastings Street. 

"My daughter has a photograph of Mr. Hall, my husband, in the uniform of the New Westminster 
Rifles. He used to walk over from Vancouver to New Westminster to drill, and come back after 
drill. Used to get home early in the morning. I don't think Captain Scoullar was his captain. It must 
have been before Captain Scoullar's time, perhaps Captain Pittendrigh." 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0018 


28 May 1931. 

Went over to request Mrs. Hall's criticism of an article, which subsequently appeared in the 
Vancouver Daily Province on 28 June 1931, on the Dominion Day Celebrations, 1887, and then 
read to her the narrative above. 

"It was out of the bedroom window that my father shot the wolf, not out of the milk house," said 
Mrs. Hall. "The little window in the milk house was facing the sea, and it was high up, too high for 

"Tom Foster was on the C.P.R. construction gang, and he told me, and he laughed" (and she 
laughed too, as she told it) "that fast as the gang would lay the tracks in the day, father would pull 
it up at night." (See The Fight for Kitsilano Beach.) 

"Oh, yes, that's true about the smelts; I used to take them to the city; that was what I gathered 
them in sacks for. No, never sold them, used to give them away. 

"About the trout. You could get all you wanted. It cannot be explained to anyone now what it was 
like; they would not believe you. I do not think there was any place in B.C. where there were so 
many; I suppose there are still some places, but I doubt it. Every one of the little creeks along the 
shore here were just full of trout. 

"The only people who passed by were the people who lived at Jericho; they used to pass in a 
boat. I must find out who used to live at Jericho before the Frasers. We did everything by boat. 
When we went to town we went up False Creek and landed somewhere. I don't know just where 
it was; it must have been somewhere between Cambie Street and Westminster Avenue." 

(Note: it was probably the southern end of Carrall Street where there was, at least in 1 886, 
perhaps earlier, a small wharf. Mr. DesBrisay, who came to Vancouver in August 1887, told me 
that when they went to Jericho for a picnic they used to land on the Royal City Planing Mills log 
boom at the foot of Carrall Street. Or it may have been at the foot of Granville Street, and thence 
by an old Indian trail to about Abbott Street.) 

"The Reverend Mr. Hall" (Joseph Hall) "married a Miss Pollard, one of the pioneer families of 
Victoria. She went to the Cariboo and taught school, and he was minister there. He was minister 
in the Cariboo when I was born there. 

"The canoe parades on Dominion Day were really beautiful. We used to sit on the waterfront, and 
watch them, down on Water Street. They had their lanterns in festoons and pretty shapes, and it 
looked as though the canoes were linked together; the whole inlet was illuminated" (a descriptive 
exaggeration). "I think they must have had torches." (They had Chinese lanterns of many colours, 
and perhaps torches also.) 

"No, it was not Captain Peele; it must have been Captain Pittendrigh under whom my husband 
served in the New Westminster Rifles." (His uniform is B.C. Garrison Artillery. See photo.) 

"Our first home in the city? Oh, that was up on Nelson Street. We had the first well on Nelson 
Street; the neighbours used to come and get water from our well." 

Query: Did Granville Street ever exist as a forest road, or was Granville Street just cut out of the 

"I am not sure. Did you ever hear about the tree which fell on the sleigh. It must have been about 
New Year's or Christmas. It killed two. They were driving out Granville Street South, a young 
fireman — one of the city firemen. I think his name was Simpson, or it may have been; I think her 
name was MacClure. It was long before the train came." (C.P.R.) 

"And, mind you, out on the River Road" (Marine Drive) "was 'away out' in those days. They were 
driving out Granville Street South when the tree fell on the sleigh, killed two and left two, brother 
and his sister's sweetheart were killed. They were out near Magee's farm, well Magee's farm ran 
right up to Granville Street. Mashiter, I think that's the way they spell his name, fine old gent, one 


of the real old-timers, a great churchman, had a store up at Squamish now; he would tell you a 

"Did you ever hear the story of Christ Church, now the cathedral," said Mrs. Hall, continuing. "I 
think the C.P.R. gave us those lots;" (incorrect) "the place was called the 'Root House.' The 
people who formed Christ Church were the descendants of St. James Church down on Cordova 
Street, and they came over to a little store, where Birks the jewellers are now, opposite the Hotel 
Vancouver. The first year we were there the See House in New Westminster was opened, and 
we hired all the rigs and buggies in town and went over to Bishop Sillitoe's. We had a very happy 
time. Then we went and built the basement of Christ Church, the 'root house,' and some did not 
want the clergyman, and some did, Reverend Mr. Hobson; some wanted him to go, some did not; 
he could not be got out, so they starved him out. So finally, they put the sheriff in, and we went to 
the church one morning, and found a notice on the door. He stayed on three or four months. I 
used to take food and put it on the doorstep; there was no food in their house. He went to Boston, 
and I am told that twenty years afterwards he was at the same church. Fine woman, his wife; he 
was a coachman, and he ran away with her, or she with him. 

"About our old home on Greer's Beach. There was a little path of two planks from the front door to 
the gate, and from the gate to the beach. There was a big log near the gate which we used to 
jump off — into the water. On the north side of the house there was nothing, just some bushes, 
some small trees; hemlocks, perhaps a foot through, with wind blown limbs; no orchard. The 
trees in the front garden were apples and plums; not very large, four or five years old, about eight 
of them. The garden at the back was beautiful; we had all the vegetables we wanted. And over 
towards Cornwall Street there was the densest forest! The trees were a tremendous size; right 
down to the water. There was a spring over by where the track is now." (Foot of Yew Street.) 

"The house had a sort of peak roof, fairly steep, like they put on barns. When the C.P.R. came 
they went through the stable, and the spring was near that. The fence around the house enclosed 
quite a bit of ground. The cows used to just wander out in the swamp," concluded Mrs. Hall. 


A typewritten record, in book form, entitled The Fight for Kitsilano Beach, The Celebrated Greer 
Case, by Major J.S. Matthews, has been prepared from many of Mr. Sam Greer's original papers, 
loaned by his daughter, Mrs. J.Z. Hall. 

Sketches of the old site, plan of house, etc., have also been collected and at the present moment, 
the well-known historical scenic painter, John Innes, Esq., has prepared a small drawing of 
Greer's Beach in 1884 or 1885. [He never completed it.] 


^ash'-nas $*&!■ Szyr*ooR S^-t^tfnvj e<tsi (aftrex i%j 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0019 


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Item # EarlyVan_v1_0020 

28 May 1931 - Hastings Street in 1887. Falling the forest. Percy DesBrisay. 

"Hastings Street was just a sort of rough trail when I came here in August 1 887," said Mr. Percy 
DesBrisay, now of the Marina Apartments (owner), 1206 Maple Street, Kitsilano Beach. "There 
used to be a two-plank sidewalk, and you had to be careful when you walked on it, for the planks 
used to spring up and down when you walked on them. The posts underneath were too far apart, 
or else the ground was too soft. I have walked them a good many times, and I know how they 
used to, the planks, used to jump up and down. 

"The first time I came over from Westminster I came by the Douglas Road; it seems to me that it 
ran right into Hastings Hill. 

"They were clearing the West End at that time; falling the trees; about south and west of the Hotel 

"Once in a while we went to Jericho for a picnic. We went from the Royal City Planing Mills at the 
end of Carrall Street, and rowed over, and came back the same way." 


Hastings Street. Mrs. J. Hampton Bole, nee McAllister. 

"I was born within a stone's throw of the old Imperial Opera House, afterwards the Drill Shed, in 
1892, and I can distinctly remember that Hastings Street, between Cambie and Carrall Street, 
was just a sort of trail with stumps on both sides; they tell me I can do nothing of the sort, but I 
know I can."- Mrs. J. Hampton Bole, daughter of John McAllister, member of first fire brigade. 


(Mrs. Bole's statement is not as incorrect as on the surface it would appear. Hastings Street was 
not a main street of Vancouver until after 1899, perhaps 1900, and there were probably stumps 
on lots much later.) 

GRANY1LLE ST at Georgia 1BS7 
13 feet dia. 325 feet tall 

up b'stret^ame ajphot«f' , Ydnfc?u¥ff ^^ ?<JH Salt) j£oo<3 on Gto*«ia S 1 bVt*tm ."Vy^nou* &n&G*anviUt Streets 7Wo['ctJWfc] * 

thoto .jt/ oourtes;.' tt.T.Dertne ^.c . J op;: u- .J.;:oor«j Photo 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0021 

10 June 1931 - Big trees. Granville Street. Georgia Street. 

There is a photograph commonly known in Vancouver; it appears almost everywhere; of a butt of 
a great burned tree in which is established a "REAL ESTATE - LOTS FOR SALE" office. Of this 
photo, Mr. H.P. McCraney, a very early pioneer, now vice-president of F.L. Cummings and 
Company, 1300 block Howe Street, painting contractors, says: 

"The big tree lay partly on Georgia Street, partly on the lane, and partly on the site of the present 
Strand Theatre, that is, on Georgia Street between Seymour Street and Granville Street, and 
immediately behind the present Birks Building. My firm had the contract for clearing the land 
around there, and I passed the tree many times a day. My firm was Stephenson and McCraney. It 
was a fir. 

"The photograph was taken immediately after the fire. It was not actually a real estate office; the 
photograph was taken more for advertising purposes, for a joke. 


"Those in the photo include J.W. Home, H.A. Jones, Mr. Stiles, a real estate man, Dr. Hendricks, 
the U.S. Consul, and some others. I will pick them out for you someday when we have the photo 
by us. 

"It was a tremendous tree, and on the highest spot of ground. It must have towered far above the 
present Birks Building or Vancouver Block. 

"There was another big tree at the corner of Pender and Richards streets, just outside W.H. 
Gallagher's present real estate office. It was a cedar. The cedars were bigger trees than the firs. 
There is one about 100 yards from the Brockton Point recreation grounds — it's still there — which 
was sixty-eight feet around." 

Query: I am told there was a tremendous stump at the corner of Cordova and Carrall streets, and 
that for years the wagons used to pass around it, through dust or mud? 

"Doubt it; might have been. My firm had the contract, and I graded and planked Cordova Street, 
but I don't remember it." (See elsewhere re Big Trees.) 

June 1931 - Port Moody. Canadian Pacific Railway. First eastbound freight. 
Tea from Orient to England. 

"Much was made of the advantages of the new route around the world," said Mr. W.F. Findlay 
(see elsewhere), "when the C.P.R. line was opened to salt water at Port Moody; for instance, by a 
coincidence a tea ship arrived right at the proper moment. She was a sailing ship. She was towed 
up to Port Moody. It arrived in England three weeks earlier than if it had gone by the regular 
route — Suez Canal presumed — much was made of the pace of speed of arrival." 


"It was not a coincidence, but carefully planned; the ship was two days late, and did not 
reach there until three days after the first train arrived." -W.F. Findlay, April 12, 1932. 

11 June 1931 - Port Moody. Canadian Pacific Railway. 

"I put $10,000 into land at Port Moody — and lost it," mourned Captain E.S. Scoullar, formerly of 
New Westminster, now of Kerrisdale, and passed three score and ten years, "on the assumption 
that the C.P.R. terminus would be there. I was vice-president of the first Board of Trade in New 
Westminster, a director of the Vancouver and New Westminster Electric tram line at the time it 
was built, and took an interest in public and political affairs. The City of New Westminster paid the 
C.P.R. $75,000 to bring their line into New Westminster. 

"Sir Charles Tupper made a speech to a crowded house in New Westminster. He said that the 
C.P.R. would never go past Port Moody; that was why I bought. Then a telegram came from 
Homer (Homer, member of Parliament, and after whom Homer Street is named) saying that the 
roundhouse was to be built at Port Moody. Most people did not know what a roundhouse was; 
they assumed it was some place of consequence, and many purchased land on that telegram." 
(See Sir Charles Tupper's reference to this in his book, Sixty Years, etc., and his refutation of the 
criticism levelled at him for stopping the line at Port Moody.) 

Captain Scoullar had a notable career in the activities of the lower mainland in the 1880s and 
early 1890s. He was one of the two officers who commanded troops, on 1 July 1887, for our first 
Dominion Day celebration; he was commander of the New Westminster Rifles, built the Central 
School, etc. 

1 1 June 1 931 - Wild animals in Vancouver. 

"I was always a great hunter. In the old days we used to hunt deer around Little Lake, and get lots 
of them." 


The speaker was Captain Pittendrigh's son, Mr. C.E. Pittendrigh, recently retired after twenty-one 
years on the New Westminster Police Force. His father, Captain Pittendrigh, was stipendiary 
magistrate in the early days at New Westminster, and also a commander of the British Columbia 
Brigade of Garrison Artillery there. 

'"Little Lake' was the old name for 'Deer Lake,' near Oakalla prison. We used to go out on the 
stage going to Hastings, get off, shoot the deer, and have them on the roadside by the time the 
stage came back. It was cheap; they charged us 'two bits' only for taking the deer in to New 

"The grouse were very thick. I used to hunt with a dog. Some dogs were very good at locating a 
grouse. On one occasion I could not get my dog to stop barking, but search my best I could not 
find that grouse. Finally I gave up, but a chance glance showed me where he was; on the very 
topmost pinnacle of a big fir, almost too far for the gun to reach, and I had the best gun I could 
buy. But the dog knew he was there all the time." 

Moodyville. Post Office. 

"The mail used to go to Moodyville once a week by an Indian on horseback from Westminster. 
The Indian got five dollars for taking it from Westminster to Hastings, from whence it went by 
boat. The Indian used to deliver the mail all right, then he got his money, and for the next two or 
three days he was drunk." 


"The 'new' road to Vancouver from Westminster was very little used. Even after it was 'built' no 
one used it very much; they seemed to prefer the old Hastings Road, now Douglas Road." 

Rifle Ranges. Peele Butts. 

"If there ever was one, I do not recall any rifle range on the Brunette Road. I distinctly remember 
the old Peele Butts; they were not in a ravine, but on the level, at the back of the Provincial 
Asylum for the Insane." 


From Pittendrigh's remarks it was gathered that the deer, grouse, etc. were very plentiful, and 
more or less easily secured in the district around "Little Lake." His remarks on this point were 
illuminating as to the effort necessary, on the part of Indians, to secure food before the white men 


In reply to a query as to what he thought was the significance of the elk dung which Mr. William 
Hunt of Kitsilano found beneath an uprooted tree on Kitsilano Beach (Greer's Beach) in 1898, he 
replied, "There were, in the early days, many dried, weather-whitened antlers of elk lying on the 
ground around Little Lake; evidently they had been there for many years. I have done a great 
deal of hunting in the northern country, have never seen any elk in these parts, but I have found 
their horns, around Little Lake, near Oakalla, before 1887." 

Mr. Pittendrigh was in the provincial police in the early days, then went to the "Upper Country," 
retired on 1 June 1931 after twenty-one years service, and was presented then with a very 
handsome travelling bag by his fellow policemen in the presence of a large number of friends and 
His Worship the Mayor of the city of New Westminster. 


Til e sfcat r on. was al »i o st e xa <ifcl y <tt f f> ol Pf ^aia « • U 1 -> 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0022 





Item # EarlyVan_v1_0023 


12 June 1931 - Early C.P.R. trains. First C.P.R. depot. 

"Grown men, the silly things, would run across the street" (at New Westminster — Columbia 
Street) "to see the train 'pull in' or 'pull out'; they had never seen a train in their lives. My father 
had to assure them that it was quite safe to go on board; but even then, some of them would feel 
the seats, to see if they were loose or fastened. They did amuse me when the first trains arrived." 

Mrs. McGovern, sister to Miss A.A. Fagan, and daughter of Fagan, says that her father was the 
first agent of the C.P.R. at New Westminster, and was also agent of the C.P.R. at Port Moody at 
the time the first train arrived, 4 July 1 886. She resides at 1 727 Macdonald Street, and was a 
member of the first Town Planning Commission formed in Vancouver, and still retains her seat. 

The first C.P.R. depot, Vancouver. 

"Of course, you know the first C.P.R. station in Vancouver was built over the water, on stilts; the 
water was underneath the station. The cliff at the foot of Granville Street was so steep that, at one 
time, it must have dropped almost straight into the water. It was cut away to make a bed for the 
railway tracks." - Geo. L. Schetky, pioneer of February 1886. 

A photo of the "First Train in Vancouver," well known, and also in Archives, shows the branches 
of trees, and other debris, just to the left of the engine; just as it would appear if the cliff had 
recently been pulled down. 



Union S.S. Co. dock .about 1387 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0024 

NORTH VANCOUVER, early *90b. \ 
Few yardu west of ferry landing 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0025 


1 3 June 1 931 - Early steamers of Vancouver. North Vancouver and 
moodyville ferry. s.s. senator. union steamship company wharf. 

"At the time I came here in 1891 ," Mr. Edwards, formerly of Edwards Brothers, photographers, 
told me today, "the only way to go to Moodyville was by the old Senator, I think she was the first 
ferry boat to the north shore, unless we include the Sudden Jerk, a boat I never saw, but which I 
am told ran from Hastings to Moodyville, which got her name from the way she ran into things, 
and which is reputed to have blown up when her boiler exploded while her engineer was up at 
Geo. Black's, Hastings, having a drink in the bar. This photograph is of the old Union Steamship 
Company wharf, and this is the Senator tied up to it. The Senator had been running for years 
before I came in 1891, and I think she is still somewhere in the harbour. Hugh Stalker was the 
master of the Senator, very obliging; if he saw a passenger coming after he had left the dock he 
would turn back, and sometimes turn back a second time if he saw still another coming. 

"I think the Sudden Jerk blew up on account of a lack of a safety valve on her steam." 

My own recollection of the Senator (the writer came to Vancouver 3 November 1898), was of a 
trip to Moodyville. At first we did not stop at North Vancouver; nothing there to go for, but 
afterwards she ran to North Vancouver, landed at a "T" wharf floating on logs and anchored. We 
used to take over horses and buggies, but the horse had to be taken out of the shafts, and the 
buggy and horse placed crosswise on her deck. There was a shelter for about twenty 
passengers. For a short while she ran to both North Vancouver and Moodyville. She was 
undoubtedly North Vancouver's first ferry boat, regular ferry boat. Later the St. George, named 
after Mr. St. George Hammersley, and built at the south end of Granville Street (under the north 
end of the Granville Street Bridge) replaced her. 


Early Steamers. S.S. Senator. S.S. Pearl. S.S. Charmer and Premier. S.S. 

The Pearl, mentioned in the Daily News-Advertiser of 2 July 1887 as bringing passengers for the 
celebration of Vancouver's first civic holiday, 1 July 1887 (See "Vancouver Celebrates Her First 
Dominion Day," 28 June 1 931 ) was a small steamer of which the shipping office of the Vancouver 
Customs have no record; they report very imperfect shipping records were kept in the early days. 

The above paper reports on 6 July 1 887, page 4, as follows, "The steamer Pearl arrived 
yesterday with a cargo of fruits and farm produce from North Arm" (of Fraser River), and on July 
8 th , "The steamer Pearl was beached near the Hastings Mill for repairs." 

Of the paddle wheel steamer Amelia which also brought passengers for the famed celebrations of 
Dominion Day 1887, Mr. Parkin of Nanaimo, whose mother came out to Nanaimo on the 
celebrated Princess Royal (see oil painting in Bastion, Nanaimo), and who is today, 1 931 , one of 
the only two surviving passengers of that voyage, and who is one of her family of seventeen, 

"The Amelia came from Sacramento River, California; my father was part owner; he lost all he put 
into her. She was brought up to compete with the stern wheeler R.P. Rithet, which was, so I am 
told, charging exorbitant freight rates. She ran between Victoria and Nanaimo. As an example of 
what followed the arrival of the Amelia, passenger fares from Nanaimo to Victoria dropped to 
twenty-five cents fare for the trip, and I think that at one time meals were 'thrown in free.' 

"Afterwards, there was some sort of a settlement, it is supposed. She" (the Amelia) "broke down 
on a trip to Victoria, and lay on the beach at Cowichan Bay, where I imagine she still is; some 
said she was purposely wrecked. She exhausted her steam into her smokestack, and "roared" at 
each lift of her walking beam. 

"During her life at Nanaimo, she acted in many capacities. I remember seeing her go out to the 
sailing vessels here at Nanaimo, etc., with water, and then helping to unload the ballast from their 


holds by using her steam power. The sailing vessels which came for coal were glad to have 
steam to help them unload their ballast. You could scarcely believe it, but I have seen as many as 
ten or twenty sailing vessels in Departure Bay waiting to load coal." 

The "roar" of the river steamer is now a thing of the past. At each dip of the walking beam, the 
steam escaped up the smokestack, and a loud "shish shish shish" roared with rhythmic regularity 
every two, perhaps three seconds; a long plume of white, not black smoke — they burned wood 
usually — trailed behind. The "shish" of the roar could be heard for a mile. 

The Pacific Express mentioned as having brought passengers to the Dominion Day 1887 
festivities at Vancouver was not a steamer, but a C.P.R. train from Montreal; the Atlantic Express 
was from Port Moody to Montreal. The newspaper Vancouver News and Daily Advertiser of 31 
March 1887 states, "The Pacific Express brought nearly 100 passengers yesterday, many of 
which remained in Vancouver," refers, probably, to passengers from Port Moody brought by the 
Princess Louise, en route to Victoria, to Granville Street wharf. 

The old Charmer, once Premier, a historic vessel which "absconded" from Seattle, and never 
ventured in U.S. waters again, was tied up to the wharf at the new C.P.R. recreation park at 
Newcastle Island, Nanaimo, during 1 931 . Poor old thing! What a palatial, luxuriously furnished 
liner we once thought her to be; today she looks poor and decrepit beside the Princess Elaine 
and Princess Joan on which we journeyed, June 10 th , to the Vancouver Pioneers Picnic, at 

1HE -B£AVEH*,ir. 1391 .fro cite d 
Proupsct Point, Z6 July 1388 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0026 


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15 June 1931 - Hastings Road. Gastown. Darktown Fire Brigade. 

The identification of a photograph, the "Darktown Fire Brigade," a column of men halted on a 
road, in character dress, and drawing a conveyance of a sort, has been very difficult. It is of 
historical value as being, probably, the only known photograph of the Hastings Road from 
Gastown to Hastings Mill, down which our pioneers ran from the Great Fire of 1886. 


Another has since been located, and shows St. James Church, the first, built on the 

"I think," said Mr. W.F. Findlay of the Pioneers Association, "the very tall man worked in the 
Hastings Sawmill; I remember him well. There was some talk of arranging a fight between him 
and some other man; it came to nothing. The yacht just in front of Brockton Point is the May, 
owned by Andy Linton, and for years the fastest yacht in the harbour, until a new boat, which had 
the new 'spoon' bow, beat her. The steamer funnel on the extreme left is probably the Can. Pac. 
Navigation Company's paddle wheel Yosemite. The "G.L ALLAN" painted on the fence is an 
advertisement of Geo. L. Allan, Boot and Shoe merchants, now living on Tenth Avenue West. 
The trees of Deadman's Island show up darker than Stanley Park trees." 


Mrs. J.Z. Hall once told me that the road (Hastings Road) from Gastown to Hastings Mill was "just 
a crooked road." It is referred to in "Vancouver Celebrates her First Dominion Day" (Province, 28 
June 1931), as being lighted with coal oil lamps at night. After the survey of 1885 of Townsite of 
Vancouver by L.A. Hamilton it is known as, in part Alexander Street, and still later, in part as 
Railway Avenue. R.H. Alexander, after whom it is named, was manager of the Hastings Mill, and 
one of the "Overlanders of '62" from Canada. Hastings Road was evidently, in very early days, a 
track along the shore, above high water mark, from John Morton's trail to Hastings Mill, perhaps 
before that an Indian trail. 


1 8 June 1 931 - Vancouver's first regiment. The Drill Hall. Sergeant Major 
Bundy. Schools. 

The militia of Vancouver owes a great deal to Major A.C. Bundy, who died on 1 7 June 1 931 , aged 
63, while at his desk in the Vancouver School Board offices. 

In 1898 the first company of artillery in Vancouver had grown so rapidly, a second was created, 
and then both re-created as the Second Battalion, Fifth Regiment, Canadian Artillery, the First 
Battalion being in Victoria, and both battalions forming, at that time, the largest regiment in 
Canada. The organisation of the Second Battalion in Vancouver necessitated the establishment 
of a school of military instruction. Captain Barnes, Sergeant Major Porter and Corporal Bundy 
were sent over from the Imperial forces at Esquimalt to take charge and instruct. Corporal Bundy 
remained permanently. Soon afterwards the artillery was changed into rifles — the Sixth Regiment, 
the Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles, for many years the only garrison in Vancouver. The new 
Drill Hall on Beatty Street was built and it needed a caretaker; the regiment needed an instructor 
and sergeant major; the first school of military instruction was over; Corporal Bundy was 
appointed to both positions. 

Up to about March 1 903, the Sixth Regiment D.C.O.R. consisted of four small companies of 
about 45 officers and men with headquarters staff at Vancouver. A and B Companies were at 
New Westminster, and C, D, E and F at Vancouver; Lieutenant Colonel C.A. Worsnop retired, 
time expired, Lieutenant Colonel J.C. Whyte assumed command, two more companies — G and 
H — were added to the strength of Vancouver. Sergeant Major Bundy continued as caretaker and 
instructor, and lived with his wife and family of three small children at the top of the Drill Hall. 

He was a tall, soldierly figure, straight as a ramrod, and to his efficiency was largely due the 
remarkable efficiency of the regiment; thoroughly competent, earnest, sincere, a dignified 
personality; it was a fortunate thing for Vancouver that such a man was appointed instructor of 
the militia at a time when the tide of military endeavour was rising. He was a specialist in gunnery, 
a good rifleshot, well informed on military procedure and etiquette for officers, N.C.O.s and men, 
a somewhat silent man: just what was wanted to inspire the keen, undisciplined citizen soldiers, 
who were willing and anxious to excel if only shown how to excel. 

About 1 907-1 908, he organised the first detachment of machine gunners in Vancouver. Their 
arm was a single Maxim Gun mounted on a limber, drawn by a horse, the limber also carrying 
eight boxes, each box containing one belt of 250 cartridges. They annually practiced at Second 
Beach at a floating target. 

He was largely responsible for the promotion of that splendid cadet unit, the first in Vancouver, 
the 101 st Vancouver High School Cadets, and was their first instructor. This unit made a trip to 
Australia, and it is asserted that, of the forty-five boys or cadets who made that trip, forty-four 
received commissions as officers during the Great War. 

It has been stated that Sergeant Major Bundy became the first instructor of physical drill to the 
schools of Vancouver in 1898. This cannot be exactly correct, for the writer well remembers the 
day, about 1904, when Sergeant Major Bundy told him that he had that afternoon been instructing 


the schools, and we conversed about it at length. At first it was in a very small way — one 
afternoon per week. 

Mr. Bundy dabbled a little in real estate in the boom days, and made a little. He retired as 
sergeant major of the Sixth D.C.O.R. some years before the Great War, about 1910-12, to 
devote his whole time and effort, an onerous duty, to the rapidly increasing numbers of school 
children throughout Vancouver and, after 1 928, Greater Vancouver. He lies buried in Ocean View 
Cemetery, and to his memory we can, with one accord, exclaim, "Well done; thou true and faithful 

18 June 1931 - Union Jack, Canadian Ensign (flags.) 

It will be noted that, in many of the earlier photographs of Vancouver scenes, indeed even as 
recently as 1910, and perhaps still more recently, that the most common flag flown in Vancouver 
on holidays and ceremonial occasions is the Canadian naval ensign, and not the Union Jack. 

The practice dates back to Dominion Day, 1887, and has a connection with the earlier history of 
Vancouver, its association with the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the "Confederation Terms," all 
of which are insolubly linked with the establishment of Vancouver as a city. In Vancouver, there 
was a distinct "Canadian" atmosphere, as opposed to the "British" atmosphere of crown colony 
days, and the older cities of Victoria and Westminster. 

As an instance of the extensive use of the Canadian merchant vessel ensign (red field) there is 
cited a brochure entitled Educational Institutions of Vancouver— VANCOUVER CITY SCHOOLS 
issued in 1910 by the Board of School Trustees of Vancouver, showing the Canadian merchant 
vessel ensign being hoisted by school boys on the school flagpole. The Union Jack is now used. 

Today probably three quarters of the flags used are Union Jacks, and one quarter Canadian 
ensign. A campaign, sponsored by the Canadian Club and other patriotic institutions before, 
during and after the War, together with numerous articles explaining the structure of the Union 
Flag, and editorials and letters pointing out that the ensign was not the national flag, gradually 
turned the scale of sentiment in favour of the use of the Union Jack. The Elks, a fraternal 
organisation, did splendid service; they annually distributed thousands of small Union Jacks at 
their great Children's Picnic in Hastings Park. Ignorance, more than anything else, of what was 
the national flag of Canada, was responsible for the earlier use of the merchant ensign; many 
thought is was the especial flag of the Dominion. Major C. Gardner Johnson presented one, 
purchased at his own expense, to fly over the Court House. The court registrar, Mr. Beck, 
declined to accept the Canadian ensign. 


I>" E " *, Irepftftntng, estimate' 

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Remains of anoient 

*&i ■■» IfcSfcr- -*»■ village .Stanley Park 
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Item # EarlyVan_v1_0030 

22 June 1931 -Ancient villages of Vancouver. Indians. Kitsilano. 

The Callands, of Point Grey Road and Trafalgar Street, are very old residents of Kitsilano; they 
went there some time after 1 902; it was Mr. Calland who changed the names of the old streets to 
those of five famous battles. 

Mrs. Calland told me that when Mayor Bethune built his house on Point Grey Road — it was on the 
waterfront side, halfway between Bayswater and Balaclava streets, about where J.W. Hobbs lives 
now — they uncovered an enormous clam shell midden. So far as she recalls, it was just levelled 
off, and much of it may be there, undisturbed, yet. 

She said that there was another clam shell midden where Felix Smith — now in the Marpole Home 
for Incurables — built his home, almost exactly at the foot of Macdonald Street. When Mrs. Calland 
went to first live in Kitsilano, it was a wilderness of forest; she is a highly intellectual woman, a life 
member of the Art, Historical Society, so that she knows. These were, she said, the only two 
middens she knew of as being along the Point Grey Road. 

I have sometimes thought that the triangular, low heap of fertile ground upon which Mr. Sam 
Greer built the first house in Kitsilano — it was an acre or more at the foot of Yew Street — a little to 
the east of the foot, was an old clam shell heap. A small forest rill formerly entered the sea at 
almost the exact spot where the street car crosses Yew Street, and it would be natural for the 
Indians to camp there. Along near the middle of the beach was a larger creek, but all near and 
behind it was muskeg, damp and wet. 

Professor Hill-Tout, one of the greatest living authorities on Indian middens, once told me that in 
early days the Indian villages all the way from Point Grey to Point Atkinson must have been so 
close together that the occupants ought to have been able to almost shout from one to the other. 
It is presumed that very early settlements of Indians on English Bay found the district most fruitful 
of supplies of food, and that consequently it was more densely populated than less favourable 
districts to the north and south on account of its proximity to the mouth of the Fraser River, and 


the consequent superabundance of salmon; probably the most favoured location in hundreds of 

As an early resident, thirty years, at the mouth of False Creek, so far as I know, there were no 
middens between the C.P.R. tracks on Yew Street, and the Indian Reserve boundary, on the 
False Creek shore. A few clam shells, broken bits, could be found almost anywhere, but nothing 
more. Behind the beach was an extensive muskeg, along the cliff north of Ogden Street there 
was no trace of middens; all the higher land was clothed in heavy timber. But between the 
western boundary of the Indian Reserve there was a wide flat of sand running almost as far as 
the Burrard Street Bridge; beyond that the usual mud of False Creek. The Indian village was, in 
1898-1907, exactly under the present Burrard Street Bridge. There may be some remains of 
middens along that shore, but I have never noticed any. 

J.S. Matthews 

Extract, Daily News-Advertiser, 9 July 1 887, page 4. 

"The Siwash rancherie below the Hastings Mill was the scene of another disgraceful disturbance 
on Thursday night. About a dozen Indians amused themselves by getting drunk," etc., etc. 

The rancherie was cleared out about a week later. They had built themselves a number of shacks 
there, and became a nuisance. 

June 1931 - First Dominion Day celebration, 1887. Seymour Battery. 
Westminster Rifles. Sergeant Major J. C. Cornish. 

In checking over my article on "Vancouver Celebrates Her First Dominion Day," published in the 
Province, 28 June 1930, with Sergeant Major J. C. Cornish, now of White Rock, where he was 
formerly a customs officer, he said: 

"I was only eighteen when I joined the new Canadian permanent force just after Confederation. 
You will see me in my winter uniform in the photograph in my album, first page, in the Vancouver 
City Museum. There is also a photograph of C Battery, R.C.A., the first permanent unit of 
Canadian forces to arrive in B.C.; it has something about 'wish you a Merry Christmas' on a big 

"The uniform of the Seymour Battery of New Westminster, afterwards amalgamated with the 
B.C.B.G.A. as No. 1 Battery, was modelled on that of the Royal Artillery, a so-called bearskin 
busby, but actually made out of some other animal's fur. They had blue tunics, with red facings, 
and yellow braid. 

"Lieutenant Chas McNaughten, the rifle shot" (see Laurie Bugle team photo, 1884, in Archives), 
"died in 1 889. I was at his funeral, a military funeral, in New Westminster. A Mr. Fiennes-Clinton 
was one of our officers, perhaps it was Reverend Father Clinton." 

Query: In the Sixth Regiment D.C.O.R. souvenir book, 1907, it reads that the Seymour Battery 
had the same uniform as the Royal Artillery, minus the red shoulder straps and monogram 'VRI'? 

Answer: "The Royal Artillery never had red shoulder straps; they had blue shoulder straps with an 
edging of red. I don't know about the 'VRI.' 

"The old records of the Westminster militia were not destroyed in the old Drill Hall on Clarkson 
Street. We moved over to the new Drill Hall, the one they now use, several years before the fire 
of 1898. The old Drill Hall on Clarkson Street must have fallen down, I suppose. 

"The uniform of the New Westminster Rifles," said Captain F.R. Glover, formerly of the 72 nd 
Seaforth Highlanders, later of the B.C. Electric Railway Company, and an officer of the Rifles in 
the early days, "was supposed to be exactly the same as the Rifle Brigade of the British army. I 
don't know that it actually was, or that all of us had it. Some of us, I had, served in the East" 
(eastern Canada) "before we came out to B.C., and so had our uniforms; perhaps others did, so 


we just used our old uniforms, so that you cannot be sure with these old photographs that they 
are the exact uniforms of the Westminster units. 

"Chas McNaughten — ten, not -ton — is the officer on the corner of the column in the photo of the 
B.C.B.G.A. on Cordova Street, Dominion Day, 1 887. Lieutenant Doane of the Bank of British 
Columbia, New Westminster, went to Portland, Oregon. A third officer, who should have been on 
parade, but I don't see him, is Lieutenant R.J. Rickman, John Hendry's right hand man, chief 
accountant of the Royal City Planing Mills. John McMurphy, whom John Reid — sergeant then, 
now captain — says was on parade, was a son of Sergeant Major John McMurphy of the Royal 
Sappers and Miners." 

In Colonel Robertson's History of the 5 th Regt. C.G.A., (Victoria,) and B.C. Coast Defenses, only 
three copies of which were typewritten — one in Ottawa, one in Provincial Archives, Victoria, and 
one in Vancouver City Museum — it states: 

"... wrote Governor Douglas on Nov 18 th 1863 etc. ... a roll of 55 names has been made up to 
form the New Westminster Volunteer Rifles in the mainland colony of B.C. ... change of name to 
New Westminster Rifle Corps in 1866." 

June 1931 - Seymour Battery. Captain (Judge) Bole. Senior Sergeant John 

Captain John Reid was a senior sergeant in the New Westminster Rifle Company in 1887, and 
was on parade on Cordova Street in the famous parade of soldiers in the Dominion Day parade, 
1887. He states the photo of Judge Bole, taken in uniform by "Judkins, Puget Sound, Washington 
Territory" (showing two buttons above and two below crossbelt — see Archives) was "taken about 

Provided this photo was taken before 1 884, or late 1 883, it is very likely the uniform of an officer 
of the Seymour Battery — long thought completely lost. A memorandum of a conversation with 
Captain Bole on this subject, by Major Matthews, is in the Provincial Archives. The star of rank is 
on the collar; it may be that in those days an ensign wore one star, a lieutenant two, a captain 
three, and that Judge Bole was an ensign at the time it was taken. 

(Note: prior to 1 930, all junior officers were "lieutenants," and wore two stars on their shoulder 
straps; after 1930, second lieutenants wore one star, lieutenants, two stars. The old form dates 
back forty or more years.) 

29 June 1 931 - Wild animals in Vancouver. 

A cougar was killed by men sent to hunt it, in Stanley Park about the last week of October 1911. It 
is now to be seen, mounted, in a glass case at the Stanley Park Pavilion. 

A black bear was shot about the end of June 1911 on Angus Road (now Forty-Seventh Avenue 
West), Kerrisdale, by Mr. W.D. Goodfellow. 


Reeve J.A. Patow, in Province, 29 May 1937, writing under "Point Grey Still Grows," 
records this bear as having been killed in Kerrisdale, 27 July 1911. 

Soon after the Richmond Rifle Range was opened in October 1904, Captain J. Reynolds Tite 
purchased, from Mr. Magee, the site of his subsequently beautiful home on Marine Drive, then 
Magee Road, about a mile from Magee Station on the interurban line; he cleared the site with his 
own hands largely. There was a great deal of forest around; Magee Road was a forest road; there 
was a small shingle or sawmill, with a railway siding, on the interurban just south of Magee 


I met Captain Tite one morning as he was entering his office. He said that a cougar crossed in 
front of him as he came up the road that morning; wished he had had his rifle; said that he 
frequently saw deer. 

About 1 902, possibly earlier or later, a telephone message was received in the Imperial Oil 
Company's office, then in the DeBeck Block, Hastings Street, asking Mr. CM. Rolston — then 
bookkeeper, for many years after manager — to hurry home as a bear was near the fence at the 
back of their garden at the corner of 13 th Avenue and Ontario Street. 

The writer went to live at 1 343 Maple Street, between Kitsilano Beach and the Indian Reserve, in 
December 1911. For three or four years afterwards there were coons in the Kitsilano Indian 
Reserve; my son Hugh hunted them. 

Before 1913, before the Pacific Dredging Company filled in, with sand pumped from False Creek, 
the muskeg at the back of the Kitsilano Beach, a deep slough, filled with sluggish water, ran from 
about the Henry Hudson School to the centre of the beach. It crossed the street car fill through a 
culvert, and ran northwesterly through what is now Laburnum Street to the beach. My son Hugh 
caught several muskrats there in 1911-1913. Hardpan was about four feet down through the 
muskeg; the muskeg was rank with coarse grass and small bushes, willows, etc.; the banks of the 
slough, which was too wide to jump across, overhung with vegetation of various sorts; the ground 
was black loam, the decayings of centuries, and strong enough to support a man's weight, dry 
enough to walk across; a veritable muskrat paradise. 

About 1 887, a wolf was shot, behind what is now the bathhouse on Kitsilano Beach. It was shot 
out of the bedroom window by Mr. Sam Greer, and its body found dead in the garden when 
daylight came. 



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\7"AN"COUVER*S first volunteer 
soldier was G^/fr. J. Z. Hall, 
who in 1885 journeyed from Gas- 
town to New Westminster through 
the tall timbers to attend drills. 
The uniform is that of the British 
Columbia Brigade of Garrison Ar- 
tillery, a descendant unit cf the 
historic Seymour Battery of crown 
colony days. His residence in later 
days was the well-known "Klllar- 
ney," Point Grey road, still the 
residence of his widow, Mrs. J. Z. 

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30 June 1931 - Mount Pleasant. Rifles and rifle shooting. 13th Avenue 

I joined the old Sixth Regiment, the Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles, as a private, on 1 7 March 
1903, being the first man sworn in to G Company, when the regiment was enlarged by two new 
companies. It was the only militia unit in Vancouver at the time. 

At that time, Mr. CM. Rolston, then bookkeeper and salesman of the Imperial Oil Company 
Limited, afterwards Imperial Oil Limited, of which he was for a quarter of a century or more 
manager, lived at the corner of Ontario Street and 1 3 th Avenue. 

In due course, I was issued a rifle, a .303 Lee-Enfield, and one evening in the summer of 1903, I 
turned up at his home. We went down 13 th Avenue to the west a few yards, set up a canvas 
target about four feet square, and used 1 3 th Avenue, firing west, as our rifle range. The rifle was 
capable of throwing its projectile 2,700 yards, a muzzle velocity of, say, 2,200 feet per second. 

At that time, all west of Ontario Street was second growth woods; 1 3 th Avenue, to the west, was a 
narrow trail for some 200 or 300 yards, and then melted into a path, finally to disappear 

J.S. Matthews 

The First Drill Hall. The Imperial Opera House. 

(Photograph in J.C. Cornish album in Archives.) 

The old Drill Shed on Pender Street was, at first, the Imperial Opera House, built in 1 889, and it is 
to perpetuate the site, now occupied by the Shelly Building, formerly the Duncan Building, that the 
regiments of Vancouver subscribed together for a memorial tablet, not yet unveiled, in 1 931 . The 
tablet reads: 


"HERE STOOD the Drill Shed within which the pioneer corps of volunteer soldiers of Vancouver, 
the British Columbia Brigade of Garrison Artillery first paraded, January 16 th 1894, and from 
whence departed the contingent to the South African War. GOD SAVE THE KING." 

30 June 1931 - Point Grey School. 

The first school in Point Grey originally stood on the site of the present Queen Mary School, but 
was moved when the Queen Mary was built, and now stands in the 4300 block on the north side 
of Sixth Avenue West. Queen Mary stands on Fifth Avenue and Trimble Street, and is said to 
stand upon the most beautiful school site in Canada, originally the old site of the first school. It 
was a two-storey building (photo, as in 1 931 , with Miss Violette Russell, one of the first ten pupils, 
in Archives.) (See N.H. Russell.) 

Miss Russell, now of 4406 West Second Avenue, daughter of Mr. N.H. Russell (who died June 
1931), an early resident of Point Grey (see Wild animals of Vancouver) says that at first they used 
the lower floor only. The first teacher was Miss Mackenzie — she taught all grades — the second, 
Miss Shaw. She thinks the school was built twenty-three years ago. Her brother Dudley was 
another of the first ten pupils. 

Wild animals of Vancouver. 

The school was heated by cordwood, and the cordwood pile was the abode of a skunk; the 
school had to be closed for a day or so upon one occasion when the skunk became too familiar. 

Anglican Church in Point Grey. 

The first church services of the Anglicans were held in the old school, the children's seats being 
used as pews. These were the first public services; prior to that, the church services — that is, the 
very first services of that denomination — were held in Mrs. William Godfrey's home, as also were 
the first Sunday schools. 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0035 

Vancouver Celebrates Her First Dominion Day. 

Published, Vancouver Province, 28 June 1931. 

It was an historic day for Vancouver — Dominion Day, 1 887 — indeed for all British Columbia, and 
for Canada; one might almost venture to include the British Empire, for throughout history there 
have been few days fraught with greater symbolic drama. It passed, as famous days must even 
do, its significance largely imperceptible, its theme scarce recognised, save by the more 
thoughtful actors in the play; the remainder regaled themselves to the pleasures of the hour, all 
unmindful of its meaning. 

For aeons, pure land had lain in motionless repose; a silent space, sans history, sans romance; 
an empty thing hidden beneath an almost interminable green carpet of boundless forest 
spreading on and beyond, pierced at wide intervals by white streaks of snow capped ranges, like 
foaming crests of billows breaking in green seas. Had some astral astronomer, peering through 
his lens from some far distant star, studied the region, he might have pondered and theorised 
upon the strange phenomenon he saw; an earthly paradise isolated and unoccupied in an old and 
densely populated world. As the stream of empires slowly wended westward, each wave of 
civilisation had swept its distance; now finally the last wave had reached the "farthest west," and, 


as though in haste to regain lost centuries, the "farthest west" began making history at a 
prodigious rate. 

A world event had happened in Vancouver a month previously. Figuratively, the mythical 
"Straights of Anian" (Northwest Passage) for which navigators had searched for a century and a 
half, and with which certain imaginative Spanish explorers had so often — on maps — joined the 
Atlantic to the Pacific, had at last been traversed. On the eve of the Queen's Birthday, 1887, the 
Canadian Pacific Railway had reached Vancouver, closed the last gap in the "All-Red Route" and 
had raised the obscure settlement on the muddy shore of Water Street, sobriquetly termed 
Gastown, to the status of a world port; a dockless world port to be sure, but nevertheless soon to 
reorient the gyrations of world trade. Now, five weeks later, came further notable events, the 
principal perhaps being the celebration, the first celebration, in Vancouver, of Canada's natal day, 
Dominion Day. 

Sixteen years earlier, the crown colony of British Columbia had joined the confederation of 
eastern provinces, but geographically she remained as remote as ever, shut off by mountains, 
inaccessible to the eastern domain save by passage through a foreign land, and those who went 
thither were said to have "gone to Canada." To the average inhabitant of self-contained British 
Columbia, the new Dominion remained what it had always been, a somewhat distant thing of 
scant acquaintanceship, and slight mutuality in history, business or sport. Many living recalled the 
"old days" when their paterfamilias, the Hudson's Bay Company, had leased all Vancouver's 
Island for seven shillings a year, and took in the mainland for good measure, they had prospered 
then, and under the crown colony regime which followed; their literature was still almost entirely 
British. Nor had time completely healed memories of "Carnarvon Terms," and the bitterness of 
confederation controversies. 

On the other hand, the United Kingdom had mothered British Columbia. Their interests in state, 
family, finance and commerce was interwoven by long association. The fondness for the 
Motherland was deep-rooted; her very laws were our laws. No less potent, especially in the cities 
of Victoria and New Westminster, was the profound sentiment of attachment to the person of Her 
late Majesty, Queen Victoria; the former city had been named in her honour; the latter name she 
herself had chosen, and a local colloquialism termed it the "Royal City." Her birthday had been a 
day of rejoicing since grey haired men were babes, and as time passed and her long reign drew 
nearer and nearer to its Jubilee, a great wave of devotion to Victoria the Good swept through 
men's minds. 


jmiun tan nun co*l kuimm (j*°p»r; 


Chinese with. f>igVo.xts 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0036 




Item # EarlyVan_v1_0037 

No such emotional sentiments gripped allegiance to the new dominion; and in the earlier days 
following confederation, the celebration of our national birthday was, in the west at least, 
unimpassioned. British Columbia continued to enthuse in the great birthday as its great holiday, 
and at that time British Columbia meant Victoria and New Westminster, for Vancouver had no 
existence. Tradition wields a mighty power in the British race. 

The affinities of Vancouver were constricted by no such deferential sensibility to old custom. 
Within a few short months the embryo metropolis had passed from wilderness to village, from 
village to ashes, and from ashes to a florescent city, and all this was due to the new railway. The 
entrance of our province into the Dominion, the construction of the railway, and the great purpose 
of Confederation, all three were historically and in fact insolubly associated; two of these had long 
since been effected; now the third and last was accomplished. The dreams of great dreamers had 
come true; Canada at last was whole. It was but natural that the fountain of so much good fortune 
should be in high favour. With much enthusiasm and patriotic fervour our city worthies prepared 
to celebrate the anniversary of confederation with grand commemorative ceremonies; the first in 

Fate set the stage with consummate discrimination; it was most wisely arranged and 
appropriately timed. The traditional festal dates of the older cities did not conflict; the inauguration 
of our first civic holidays would coincide; the Queen's Jubilee festivities would run concurrent; the 
wonderful new railway would attract the interested and curious from all directions — many had 


never seen a train — just a month after completion. There would be much sightseeing, the 
warships, the clearing operations, the new buildings and the spectacular ceremonies. The 
weather, just past midsummer, would assuredly be propitious. 

During June, large notices appeared in small newspapers which read: 

THE cm, 1931, BEYOND KAIt: ST 

fc**a i= 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0038 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0039 


(Main St) 

FiKe. Holt lower OTt Woler S v 
WcsZ- j*- Car rail Sa- 

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(Royal Coat of Arms) 










The completion of the CANADIAN 

PACIFIC RAILWAY to its western terminus, 

and the inauguration of a complete rail 

and steamship route from the Orient to 

the Occident on BRITISH TERRITORY. 

By order of the Committee 

The announcement was headed by the Royal coat of arms, a crown colony practice which 
survived for many years. 

But all this was not the complete programme. The eventful day would not only commemorate our 
national birthday, found our first festival, celebrate the Queen's Jubilee, herald the coming of the 
railway, but there was to be yet another incident, trivial in itself, of marked historical interest; the 
invasion of our city by an armed force. There would be a procession, and in that procession 
would march a body of armed soldiers in uniform; disciplined troops of the Dominion of Canada; 
the first to read within our boundaries. Of this more anon. 

The morning of July 1 st broke bright and clear, "Queen's weather," a happy omen, and with the 
rise of the sun the bustle commenced; amongst pioneers sleepy heads are few, or not at all. The 
old C.P.R. wharf, a mere platform on piles, was fairly crowded when the paddle steamer 
Yosemite, eight hours out from Victoria, and her huge walking beam, drew in from Victoria with 
three hundred passengers blackening her decks. Mayor Fell and the Corporation of Victoria, and 
the members of the Provincial House, were received with suitable ceremony, and conducted, no, 
not to the Hotel Vancouver; that edifice was rising out of a vacant confusion of stumps; the 
lacrosse team went to the Dougall House (southeast corner of Cordova and Abbott streets). Then 
came the Amelia from Nanaimo, and the Pearl — believed to be from the north arm of the Fraser 
River — and the Pacific Express, the C.P.R. train from Montreal to Port Moody at first, afterwards 
to Vancouver, brought more. 

The more numerous Royal City contingent, which six weeks earlier would have been obliged to 
come by road and horse-drawn stage, or, alternatively, perhaps by the steamer service operating 
on the Fraser River from New Westminster to Nanaimo via way ports of Gastown and Port 


Moody, came by the new train route now that the rails were laid, and as the train ran its course 
along the sinuous shores of Burrard Inlet from Westminster Junction, now Coquitlam, the 
excursionists were delighted with the beauty of forest and fjord — their first glimpse — verdant in its 
primeval splendour. Finally, the train crossed a trestle spanning a boulder-strewn mud flat, and 
then, a moment later, stopped at "VANCOUVER," a wooden shed built over the water at the foot 
of a cliff beneath Granville Street, at 9:30 a.m. 

On board were the Mayor and Council of New Westminster, No. 1 Battery British Columbia 
Garrison Artillery, the New Westminster Rifles, the Hyack Fire Company, welcomed by a 
delegation from the volunteer fire brigade including our venerable ex-Fire Chief J. H. Carlisle, and 
the Caledonian Society. The troops formed, climbed the incline leading to Cordova Street, and 
marched, via Water Street, to the old "rink" (Hart's Opera House) on Carrall Street, stacked arms, 
fell out, and to breakfast. 

CORDOVA ST 23 Hay 1887 
Arrival of first train 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0042 

Vancouver was radiant in the sunshine of a brilliant summer's day, the citizens in festive mood 
and gay attire, the decorations lavish. The arch, a semi-circular wooden framework, thirty feet 
high, erected five weeks earlier for the C.P.R.'s arrival, and left standing, spanned Cordova Street 
nearer Carrall than Abbott, and attracted much attention from the visitors. A bold inscription, "TO 
otherwise covered with evergreens interspersed with mottos, shields, and banners taken from 
Engine No. 374 which had drawn the first train into Vancouver. Her Majesty's flagship Triumph, 


and her escort H.M.S. Caroline of the "Queen's Navee," under command of Sir Michael Culme 
Seymour, were both "dressed," and added to the lively appearance of the waterfront. Blue 
Jackets and marines were ashore in large numbers. 

The leading feature of the day was the procession, unless perhaps it was the numbers of the fair 
sex, always rare morsels in a frontier town. The lack of space created great difficulty in arranging 
the parade; our city's growth had been phenomenal, and pioneering and pageantry don't 
synchronise. Cordova Street, our principal thoroughfare, now boasted more than half its width, a 
roadway of planks, eighteen months earlier it had been a trail in the old clearing of Granville 
Townsite. (O.G.T.) The tides of Burrard Inlet still seeped onto the low land beneath the stilted 
boardwalks on Water Street; a walk from Water Street to Pender Street at high tide usually meant 
wet feet; skunk cabbage grew in the muskeg, and the rotting debris sometimes gave off queer 
effluvia. At the False Creek end of Carrall Street, an indent brought those waters — and floating 
logs — almost to Pender Street. In the east, beyond Westminster Avenue (Main Street) lay the rim 
of the unfelled bush, in the west, beyond Victory Square, stumps and debris littered the 
landscape, and the fires of the burning operations filled the air with smoke and the sweet aroma 
of burning pitch. 

For nearly an hour, George Black, the marshal, and his assistants, R.C. Ferguson, manager of 
the big sawmill on Carrall Street (Royal City Planing Mills), Jonathan Miller, the postmaster, and 
Thomas Dunn, the hardware magnate, juggled the column of marchers about, pawns on a chess 
board of planked lanes. Finally, at 1 1 a.m. the procession moved off. 

It was a simple yet inspiring spectacle; a triumphal symbolism of accomplishment in the victorious 
achievement of which generations of stout Canadian hearts had given life and effort for the 
mastery of the obstinate wilderness. What Roman general's triumphant entry in state ever 
provided so significant a scene as this unpretentious processional march; less blatantly 
spectacular to behold, perhaps, yet no less momentous than any pageant Rome ever saw. No 
sword was drawn, no horn sounded, no slaves exhibited, yet here, in epitomised portrayal, was 
real imperial achievement. A reflective mind, gazing on that parade, must have pondered a 
solemn thought on the decades of blood, sacrifice and heartaches it had cost. 

Ludicrous features were not absent, and raised a hearty laugh then as now. All the dignitaries 
could not be crushed into the city's only brougham; the remainder were conveyed in springless 
lumber wagons, camouflaged into beauty with coloured bunting, and as these bumpty bumped 
along, midst the plaudits of an admiring populace, the hurts suffered may have been more 
contributory to the gravity of the sages than any too serious appreciation of their own importance. 
Some rode thus who later clambered down muttering, "Thank goodness; that's over." 

The band of H.M.S. Triumph, the British Columbia Garrison Artillery, and the New Westminster 
Rifles led the parade in the order named. The brougham containing Mayor MacLean (Vancouver), 
Mayor Fell (Victoria) and Major Dickenson (New Westminster) came next, followed by the 
councils of each city, the Caledonian Society, the Victoria band, St. George's Society, the 
Freemasons, the Oddfellows, United Workmen, and Orangemen. The Vancouver City Band led 
the Hyack Fire Company, the Nanaimo and Vancouver Fire Brigades, and the first engine, our 
first, closed up the rear. 

To follow the route they took, we must resort to explicatives, or we shall get lost in "Old 

Starting at the old City Hall on Powell Street, just below Westminster Avenue, we march towards 
old Granville (Gastown) to the Maple Tree and enter Water Street, thence in the direction of the 
C.P.R. Townsite (West End) along Water and Cordova streets, pass the old wooden building 
used as the C.P.R. offices, and turn up Granville Street, a new road not long since graded, to the 
Hastings Street corner, now Post Office, and then turn easterly through the vacant lots of 
Hastings Street. In front of Spencers Limited, there is a narrow two-plank sidewalk, and beneath it 
is a shack, on the roof of which young Mr. George Schetky landed when he fell from his old style 
"penny-ha'penny" bike. The procession finally reaches Westminster Avenue, turns north along the 
Avenue, now west again down Oppenheimer Street (now Cordova Street East) to Carrall Street. 


Here, after this circuitous perambulation, we enter the principal retail street, Cordova Street, and 
halt to be photographed — for these are the days of still photos — after which we proceed to the 
junction of Water Street, turn back on that street, disband, and have for fare that delicious titbit, 
the long forgotten dish of salmon bellies. 

The display was a grand success. The artillery, under the command of the late Captain W. 
Norman Bole, and the Rifles, under Captain E.S. Scoullar, a noted rifle shot, called for especial 
mention. As they marched down Hastings Street, their carriage, step and "touch" — at that time, 
soldiers marched lightly touching their comrades on either side — was perfect, the whole marching 
like a solid body. The Caledonian Society, with their fine old piper, attracted much attention. The 
Hyack, Nanaimo and Vancouver Fire Brigades, in neat uniforms, were much admired. The 
playing of the City Band was said to have been the "best in the province." A regatta for decked 
and undecked boats, a hose reel race, a lacrosse match, which Victoria won, were other items on 
the day's programme. 

At night, the appearance of the town, especially from the waterfront, was like a scene from fairy- 
land; long lines of Chinese lanterns of varied colours added to the subdued luster, while nearly 
every window had its lamp. Cordova Street was, of course, illuminated, with kerosene lamps on 
lamp posts, one here, another there, and a few more glimmered on the crooked road to Hastings 
Mill. A merchant advertises "Colored candles for decorations." Prominent among the illuminations 
was the fire hall, built on the site of our first "government offices," on Water Street, around the 
corner from Carrall Street, which had a long string of lanterns from the flagstaff to the ground, the 
Dougall House with evergreen lines of lights, the Gold House and the Leland House with Chinese 
lanterns, while the residence of the late R.H. Alexander at Hastings Mill was fully illuminated with 
a device bearing the letters V.R. 

The men of war in the harbour presented a truly magnificent appearance. Long lines of Chinese 
lanterns stretched from stem to stern, and a bright light burned at each masthead. At a bugle call 
from the flagship, blue lights burned at each yard arm. The searchlights from each vessel were 
flashing through the air, now thrown upon the sea of upturned faces on Water Street, now upon 
the rippling surface of the harbour, and again upon the green branches of the forest surroundings. 

The visitors departed, gracious in their encomiums, but not without some consciousness of 
discomfiture, politely concealed. They had been honoured guests at the ceremonial deprivation of 
their own leadership; henceforth, the new City of Vancouver would march in front. 

Not all of our pioneers went to bed that night; some forgot the trivial necessity for a day or so, but 
such as did go, went pleasantly tired. 

What a privilege had been theirs! Witnesses of one of the most historic assemblages in Canadian 
history; in the lesser sense a mere frontier frolic; in the greater sense, a progress; the triumphal 
imperial progress of an empire. 

We may now return to the soldiers marching in the van of the parade. Who are these petty few, 
these forty-seven all told; seventeen gunners and thirty riflemen? 

This is the might and majesty of the "greatest empire that has been" entering, for the first time, 
upon a virgin city of its own creation. Here comes the sovereign authority of an empery; their 
mere presence silently promulgating British power and British law. This is the advance guard; all 
who come later must follow. Today they come for pleasure, tomorrow — and there will be a 
tomorrow — they will come again, with solemn visage for stern duty. Even at that moment, destiny 
had decreed this tiny patrol, tramping down the "dirt" road flanked by vacant lots, now known as 
Hastings Street, to be the precursors of a great host; the very ground they trod — that dusty path — 
will yet resound with the footfalls of martial thousands marching on to perhaps Paardeberg, 
perhaps Passchendaele, perhaps to the unstoried warfare of the unknown future. Bend in 
gratitude that our fair demesne was first invaded by troops who came a-merrymaking and with 
music; no shot was fired, no semblance of the tragic accompaniments of less fortunate 


The full story of this early cohort was almost lost; a whim of chance rescued it. The late Judge 
Bole, in early days a lieutenant in the historic Seymour Battery, once lamented that he possessed 
scarcely a relic to prove that he had ever worn a uniform; all perished in the Great Fire of 1 898 at 
New Westminster. Fate evidently relented of her harshness, for the chance glance of a passerby, 
an officer, into a shop window, caught an old photograph yellowing in the sun, and, indirectly, led 
to this story being recorded herein. 

The scene is the planked roadway of Cordova Street, the location just west of Abbott Street, and 
in the background the Cosmopolitan Hotel. The band of H.M.S. Triumph leads, followed by No. 1 
Battery, British Columbia Brigade of Garrison Artillery, in busbies, seventeen of all ranks. The 
New Westminster Rifles, the earliest volunteer militia of the mainland crown colony of British 
Columbia, organised 1 863 during the governorship of Sir James Douglas, in helmets, thirty of all 
ranks, is in the rear. All have come, with courtly goodwill, to join in our gala day rejoicings. 

CORDOVA ST. 138T First celebration 
of D minion Day in Vancojver 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0043 

Both units of volunteers are from New Westminster, splendid men and young, mostly "just 
privates," some destined to rise to eminence in public and private life. Their part in the Great War 
was the preparation for it; their medal-less breasts must not go unhonoured because time and 
fate chose a younger generation to apply the lessons they had taught. 

The tiny brigade of sixty-five — artillery, rifles and band — was under the command of Captain W. 
Norman Bole (the late Judge Bole), formerly of the Seymour Battery, so named in honour of 
Governor Seymour, the successor of Sir James Douglas. In crown colony days, the Seymour 


Battery was, although located in another hemisphere, an integral part of the volunteer forces of 
the United Kingdom, and administered by the British War office. After confederation, it continued 
as formerly until 1883, when it became No. 1 Battery, B.C.B.G.A., and the following year Captain 
Bole succeeded to the command. Lieutenant Chas McNaughten, also in the picture, succeeded 
him in 1889. The senior N.C.O. is Battery Sergeant Major William Davison, late Seymour Battery, 
and still a resident of New Westminster. 

The uniform of the Seymour Battery was identical to that of the Royal Artillery, i.e. bearskin busby 
with white plume, blue tunics with red facings, but with altered shoulder straps, and minus the 
Royal monogram V.R.I. 

The New Westminster Rifles, originally formed largely of Royal Sappers and Miners who had 
elected to remain behind when that historic corps returned to England, was commanded by 
Captain E.S. Scoullar, their last commander before disbandment in the early 1890s. This 
venerable volunteer, now past three score years and ten, and a resident of Kerrisdale, it was who 
once chartered a "troopship" to convey his Rifles to Victoria for the defence of Beacon Hill against 
three "hostile" British warships; part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations. His predecessor in 
command, Captain Adolphus Peele, of the vanished Peele Rifle Butts, and another grand old 
volunteer without whom no parade ever formed, appears as an unattached officer in the rear. 
Lieutenant Doane, of the Bank of British Columbia, New Westminster, is on parade, as also a 
third officer, Lieutenant R.J. Rickman, chief accountant, Royal City Planing Mills, New 

The senior sergeant is John Reid — twenty-eight years later to serve as Captain John Reid in the 
Great War — founder of the Westminster Iron Works, and long to be a prominent citizen of that 

The black uniform of the Rifles was similar to that worn by the famous Rifle Brigade of the British 
army; black, with black braidings and red facings. The helmet, with Maltese cross and crown, 
were the gift of their devoted commander, Captain Scoullar. 

The headquarters of both units was, at one time, an ancient building on Clarkson Street, New 
Westminster. They were armed with the short Snider-Enfield rifle, which used black powder, fired 
a lead bullet over half an inch thick (.557), went off with a roar and a cloud of white smoke, and 
kicked "like a mule." It was the first breech loading rifle issued to the British army. 

Subsequent members of the artillery included Captain T.O. Townley, who, in 1893, raised the first 
militia unit in Vancouver and who, in 1 901 , while mayor of Vancouver, received Their Majesties 
The King and Queen, then T.R.H. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. Another is that 
splendid artilleryman Master Gunner J. C. Cornish, now of White Rock, once master gunner of the 
R.C.A., of C Battery, and the first sergeant major of the Vancouver militia. He was a member of 
Canada's first permanent forces. 

The later history of these two units is, briefly, that the artillery prospered and became the 
progenitor of, first, the present Fifth British Columbia Coast Brigade, Canadian Artillery, Victoria, 
and, secondly, the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles), Vancouver, the 
perpetuating unit of the famous Seventh, C.E.F. The New Westminster Rifles were disbanded. 

Such is the proud chronicle of one of the most inspiring episodes in Canadian history, a story 
which, mellowed by time and the perspective of distance, will yet enchant the coming 
generations. Of the participants, those sterling men and gracious women few survive; the 
intervening years — forty-four — have taken their natural toll, but to such as do survive, as also to 
those who have passed away, posterity bows in admiring tribute. No medieval knights in coats of 
mail, nor ladies fair in marbled halls, were ever endowed with courage more valiant, nor grace 
more gentle, than those intrepid practical souls who carved out of the forest jungle our green 
lawns and monumental edifices. Their honourable estate needs no verbose eulogy, their tradition 
is in a nation's keeping, a city is their monument, and their memories are cherished in a proud 
and grateful land. 


J.S. Matthews 

god save the king. 

Testing the first fire engine. 

Vancouver News, August 2 nd 1886 

Made on the evening of August 1 st . 

Fire brigade hauled it to Cambie Street wharf where there was no boardwalk. Planks were laid 
down. Water gotten from the Inlet — no tanks then. 

3 July 1931 - Early fires. Fire engines and "M.A. maclean." The "Coffee 
Brigade." Water. 

"I remember the water tank at the corner of Dunsmuir and Granville, but I do not remember the 
one on Carrall Street," related Mr. Geo. L. Schetky, atone time president, about 1887 or 1890 
(see Vancouver directory) of the Vancouver Fire Brigade. "There was a tank at the junction of 
Water and Cordova, opposite Kelly, Douglas and Company's present warehouse, and a few 
yards from Spencers Limited. I am glad you have found a photo of the first fire engine, the "M.A. 

"That reminds me of a fire which occurred at the corner of Howe and Hastings streets, where 
Macaulay, Nicolls and Maitland are now — the real estate people. We got the water at the tank at 
the junction of Water and Cordova streets; we had two thousand feet of hose, and we laid it up 
Richards and Hastings streets." 

Query: What sort of fire was it? 

"Bush fire, July 1887. It was where Father Clinton lost his hat. All the ground up there at that time 
was just like any other cleared ground, dried decayed wood, dried leaves, and sticks; you would 
put a fire out, and in ten minutes turn around and find it all aglow again; the smoke was pretty 
thick; you could not see. The engine was down at the tank on Cordova Street. The ground was all 
afire, and burning like a punk stick; you could not stand it long, so when they relieved me I took a 
walk back along the hose to see how it was standing it, and if there were any leaks at the joints. I 
went down to the engine. 'Daddy' Cameron was there, and I said to him, 'How's things?' He 
replied, 'All right, but you had better not stay here.' I said, 'Why?' He replied, 'Look at the gauge.' I 
looked at the steam gauge; it was 160 pounds, and the water gauge showed 250 pounds on the 
hose — pumping uphill. However, she stood it, and I went back. 

"Just as I reached there, out of the smoke came a man — I never found out who he was. He 
handed me a bill, a two dollar bill, and said, 'Buy the boys a drink.' Somewhere about three in the 
morning we had the fire out, and as we passed the Dougall House, I said, 'Come on here, boys, 
let's have a drink of beer.' 

"We went in, and I laid the two dollar bill on the counter, but the barkeeper said, 'No use here,' 
and added, 'Anytime you fellows want a drink you don't need that,' and he pushed it back. 

"When we got back to the fire hall we found the women had all turned out, and had hot coffee and 
sandwiches for us. That was the start of the 'Coffee Brigade.' After that the women always turned 
out and had coffee and sandwiches for us when we got back." 

Father Clinton. 

"Father Clinton, who was helping us, lost his hat in the fire. He never found it. But about twenty 
years after, about, I think it was at the Strathcona Hotel, we presented Father Clinton with a new 
hat. Oh, yes, it was a volunteer fire brigade. 


"One day, I don't just recall when, we were having a calathumpian parade or something, and all 
the parsons in the city took part. They were to ride in carriages, and Father Clinton got in with 
them. We went after him; he was seated in a buggy. We shouted, 'Hey, aren't you coming to pull 
the hose reel?' He got down out of the buggy, deserted the parsons' brigade, and took his proper 
place at the hose reel." 

(Above was read to Mr. J.A. Mateer, who confirms it as correct.) 


Mrs. S.H. Ramage, 27 September 1937: "Mr. Schetky is perfectly correct; that was the 
start of the "Coffee Brigade." I was only in my teens then, but when they got back from 
the fire, we were there awaiting them. Oh, we had good times in those good old days." 


3 July 1931 -The Great Fire of 1886. Father Clinton. 

"When the big fire broke out" (13 June 1886), "I was over at the Indian Mission," continued Mr. 
Schetky, "across the Inlet in Arthur Sullivan's sailboat; just for a sail; we left about half past one, 
and it took us about half an hour to go over to the Mission — a good breeze. We had just got there, 
and signaled for an Indian to bring a canoe, and Sullivan had just got ashore, when someone 
came running along the shore, and said the city was on fire; we started right back. 

"The fire looked as though it was Joe Manion's place, and Sullivan had his mother stopping there; 
we raced back, and although she was a half decked sailboat, she was shipping water over the 
bow. Presently Sullivan said there was nothing for it, but we had to take in sail, so I took in the jib, 
and with some help, managed to put two reefs in the main sail, and even then I have heard it said 
that it took us just twenty minutes from the Mission to Hastings Mill. 

"We tried to make for Carrall Street, but the wind was so strong it blew us down to the Hastings 
Mill, and we landed on the slab pile" — at this point, Mr. Schetky pointed to the smoke coming from 
the slab pile on the point, where for many years the Hastings Mill burned their slabs — see photo, 
"Before the Fire" — "and went through the Hastings Mill yard. After we got through, the first thing 
we saw was Father Clinton on top of Mr. Alexander's house throwing water on blankets which 
had been laid on the roof to catch the sparks. The fire had run right up to Mr. Alexander's house. 
There were four little cottages just close to Mr. Alexander's house, with white roofs. They do not 
seem to show in this photo. It looks as though this scratching has scratched out Mr. Alexander's 
house. And then, whether it was the big stump, or a change of wind, I do not know, but the fire 
went off in a southerly direction for a space, and then came back. It just curved around Mr. 
Alexander's house, burned up three out of the four cottages, and left Mr. Alexander's house, and 
one of the cottages — the one Joe Coldwell" (or Caldwell) "lived in — untouched. Mr. Alexander's 
house was just before you came to the mill property. 

"Harry Hemlow was keeping the Sunnyside Hotel at the time of the fire. 

"It was just after that parade that we had a fire up here, just about fifty yards or so from this 
office," continued Mr. Schetky, whose office is in the Royal Trust Building, Pender Street West, 
when I showed him a photograph of soldiers in procession on Cordova Street, Dominion Day, 
1 887. "We had quite a scare for a while. They were clearing land at the corner of Howe and 
Pender streets, and the fire got away from them; the clearing was all dry debris; it burned some 

Mr. Schetky was shown the photograph of the arrival of the "First train in Vancouver." 

"This little tower is the tower of No. 1 Fire Hall after the fire. The building stood on Water Street, 
south side, about fifty feet west of Carrall Street, next to the Alhambra Hotel." 

(Note: the tower can be seen about one and three quarter inches to the left of the right edge of 
the photograph, and in line with the top of a tall thin black stump.) 


"The night of the Great Fire, I sat in a chair in the Hastings Mill store all night, and the next day 
took my books and $600 in cash, and went over to New Westminster and put the money in the 

"My uncle, Lewis Carter, of the Carter House, told me that, when the fire broke out, he was 
halfway up Mount Pleasant" (up Westminster Avenue on Mount Pleasant), "and started to run 
back. He ran a long way, then walked to regain his breath, then started running again, and got as 
far as the corner of Cordova Street East and Main Street" (Westminster Avenue), "and then 
turned west down Cordova Street slope. The wind was so strong that he could hardly make 
headway. He got as far as Carrall Street, but the fire prevented further progress and he turned 
and went down Hastings Road with the crowd." - W.F. Findlay, Mr. Carter's nephew. 

;ings St (after Great Fi 

/•n-rea.Y t\ the alft 



The. s^n" POST OFfJCe" niwimU* 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0044 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0045 


3 July 1931 - Post offices. 

The first post office on Burrard Inlet is generally assumed to have been "Burrard Inlet," a post 
office conducted by the Hastings Sawmill prior to the creation of "Granville." The post office of 
"Granville" was a small building, or part of it, on the east side of Carrall Street, just south of the 
corner of Carrall Street and Powell; next to the Ferguson Block on the corner. After the first post 
office, that is, before the fire, "Granville," after the incorporation of the city, "Vancouver," both 
before the fire, was burned, a temporary post office was established in a cheap shack at the 
southern end of Carrall Street, where it remained a few weeks, and was then moved to Hastings 
Street. A photograph of the little building on Hastings Street is in the archives of the Vancouver 
Public Library. 

"The first post office in Vancouver after the fire of June 1 886," said Mr. William Bailey, "was in the 
little old frame one-storey building shown in this photograph, so my brother told me at the time I 
came here in 1 890, in the fall of 1 890. It was situated where the Kent Piano Company now is, or 
about there, between Homer and Hamilton streets, on the north side of Hastings Street West. 
Afterwards, it was used as a store by my brother. That is why the name 'C.S. Bailey and Co. 
Landscape Photographers' appears on the glass of those windows. He came here some time 
before I did. 

"When I came here in 1890, there was nothing near that building, just vacant lots, a blankness. 
Right back of it was where Jonathan Miller, the first postmaster had lived, and a raised platform 
connected his dwelling to the post office at the time it was used as such. He must have lived 
there quite a time; a year or more after the fire; until the stone building in the next block up the 
street was built and in shape for occupancy. 

"Jonathan Miller's dwelling behind my brother's store was used, when I came in 1890, as the 
Rosehill Dining Hall. It was right behind our photograph shop, and we went down some steps 
from Hastings Street to enter it, or it could be entered from the lane. Everyone ate there, it was 
just a rough place, but in those days there were no 'fancy hotels.'" 

The British Columbia Directory of 1887 shows "Jonathan Miller, postmaster, Hastings Street," the 
Vancouver Directory of 1889 shows "Jonathan Miller, postmaster, residence 31 1 Hastings 
Street," and the same directory for 1890 shows "Jonathan Miller, post office, 309 Hastings Street 
West." The street numbers have been changed since. 

Was this the place which caused all the complaint by the citizens of Vancouver, supported by a 
petition to the City Council, because it was so far out from the centre of civic life? I asked. 

"I don't know, it may have been," said Mr. Bailey. "When I got here the post office was in the 
centre of the next block, opposite where the C.P.R. Telegraph is, and I think J. Oben, of Central 
Park, afterwards had a pastry shop in it. Jonathan Miller's son Walter is living — he would tell you; 
so is George Fowler." 

Mr. Geo. L. Schetky, a very early pioneer, told me that when the post office was moved to the first 
Hastings Street site — it was numbered afterwards 227 — there "was a terrific row; it was so far 

"After my brother moved from 227 Hastings Street he located on Cordova Street, near Carrall, 
north side; the building is still standing, used as Woods Boot Shop, 160 Cordova Street West. 
Later we moved to the other side, between Abbott and Cambie. The block number 200, that is 
227, on Hastings Street West, is now numbered 300," said Mr. Bailey. 



The very extensive collection of photographic plates of C.S. Bailey & Company were sold by Mr. 
William Bailey to the Dominion Photo Company about 1929. All are of priceless value, and they 
are very numerous. He sold them for $50. All are early scenic. 


There is a minute in the Minute book of the City Council recording the receipt of a petition from 
numerous citizens protesting against the removal of the post office and its establishment at so 
inconvenient a location. "Out in the woods." 

6 July 1931 - Spratt's Ark, early cannery in Vancouver. 

Spratt's Ark, a very early cannery in Vancouver, was located just west of Burrard Street; a sort of 
floating cannery, sometimes used as a wharf. Another very early cannery was at the foot of 
Burrard Street on False Creek — a small one. The largest cannery, the English Bay Cannery, 
stood a little to the east of the foot of Trutch Street — on English Bay. There was another, the 
Great Northern Cannery, almost opposite across the bay on an unnamed shore and in an 
unnamed district, now West Vancouver. 

English Bay Cannery. 

Of the English Bay Cannery, Lieutenant Colonel W.D.S. Rorison, M.C., V.D., son of R.D. Rorison, 
and member of the firm of R.D. Rorison and Company Limited, Dominion Building, formerly 
owners of the Royal Nurseries at Royal on the Eburne-Vancouver interurban line, now of Cambie, 
Lulu Island, said: 

"We must have built our house at 3148 Point Grey Road in 1908. I think I lived there from 1908 to 
1911 inclusive. Yes, we did buy the lumber of the old cannery, and used a lot of it in building our 
house; our rafters, and such heavy timbers; the outside lumber of the cannery was no use." 
(Note: it would be interesting to examine those timbers to see how they have stood the ravages of 
time.) "I have heard it said that when Mr. Alexander's house at the Hastings Sawmill was pulled 
down after the Great War, that the timbers were in excellent preservation, and they must have 
been placed there in the 1860s. There were fourteen rooms in our house, and it had a sort of 
peaked tower. It faced north." 

As late as 1 928, that is, roughly 25 years after the old English Bay Cannery ceased operations, a 
heap of rusty red iron stood, like an island, on the shore of Kitsilano waterfront under the old 
cannery location. It was the remains of the old scrap tin heap. In the earlier days, and after 1 900, 
salmon canners of the British Columbia coast made their own cans. A large amount of sheet 
tinned iron was used, and there was much waste in cutting out the round tops and bottoms from 
flat sheets. The waste clippings were shot through the cannery floor into the water beneath; it did 
not pay to save it. 

6 July 1931 - Spanish Banks. "Columbia River" salmon fishing boats. 

Prior to 1 900, and for some years afterwards, the lights of the fishing boats, twinkling on the 
summer sea off Spanish Banks made a pretty evening sight for spectators on the shore of 
English Bay. Each boat was necessitated by law to carry two lights; one on the fishing boat, the 
other on a float at the end of the net. We were still in the sail age — there were gas engines, but 
few were used. The sails were stowed whilst fishing, and the hundreds, literally hundreds, of tiny 
lights flickering in the distance, the last light from the sun which had set, the smooth sea, made 
an enchanting summer's scene. 

At that time, Spratt's Ark had long since disappeared, the cannery on False Creek was canning, 
without success, clams, etc. The fish caught off Spanish Banks and Point Grey were delivered for 
canning to the English Bay Cannery, the Great Northern Cannery, the cannery in a bay beyond 
Point Atkinson — around the corner of the lighthouse at Point Atkinson, and to North Arm and 
Fraser River canneries. 


Bathing on the beaches of Vancouver was almost impossible for most part of a month in the 
summer of 1 900; dead salmon lay on the shore in thousands. The ebb and flow of each tide 


rolled them backwards and forwards on the sands. Strolling on the sands of English Bay was 
"dangerous," especially in the twilight, for a decaying fish, half buried in the sand, was 
unnoticeable until, by a slipping step, it was detected; at other times, a foot trod upon one, and 
the decaying flesh stuck to the boot; the smell was extremely objectionable, could not be easily 
removed, and it was impossible to go home by street car until it had. For time, bathing was almost 
stopped entirely. A floating carcass, badly decayed after a week in the water, would bump a 
swimmer's chin, or a swimming stroke would break it in two. That part of English Bay which lies at 
the foot of Denman Street — the bathing beach at that time was very much shorter than now, not 
more than perhaps 200 yards long — was strewn with dead salmon, and their stench was 

The tremendous catch on the Fraser River was the cause of this. It was the big year; divisible by 
four, and the canneries could not handle the tremendous number of salmon offered by the 
fishermen. During visits to Steveston I have heard fishermen cursing because, after having 
caught 500 or even 1 000 fish, they would be told on arrival at the cannery that the day's limit was 
150, perhaps 200, maybe 250. The limit was not announced before the fish were caught; that 
would be impossible. Frequently, a boat would scarcely have finished putting out a net before it 
was full, the cedar floats had sunk, and before it could be got in again it was alive with fish. As will 
be seen by the daily newspapers of that period, the limit was published — merely as a news item 
to inform those interested as to how the canneries were operating. There was no thought 
seemingly that the day might come when willful waste would bring woeful want. The limit, as 
news, merely showed that the fish were running well, and the canneries well supplied and getting 
enough supplies to keep them busy as bees, which was expected during the short season. 

On arrival at the cannery, the fishermen would anxiously enquire what the day's limit was, 
perhaps 150 — there were cases of less — perhaps 300 or more, but if he had more in his boat 
there was no lack of comment; anything from lamentations to curses. The requisite number, the 
limit, were pitched on the wharf, the rest thrown into the sea — with much grumbling at the labour 
thereof. Hundreds of boats were operating, and thus, in a week or ten days, the sea was littered 
with dead and decaying salmon, and there was no lack of supply. 

It was a strikingly impressive sight to see the fishing boats leave Steveston on a Sunday evening. 
Promptly at six p.m. the gun would boom, signal that the fishing was to start, and the report would 
echo up and down the river. Scarcely had the echo died down than a low, rumbling roar would 
roll, as of a wagon trundling over a wooden bridge. It could be heard for a mile or more. It was the 
running of the cedar floats over the gunwales of the fishing boats. Then, almost simultaneously, a 
flight of hundreds of sails would creep out from their concealment around the cannery wharves, 
and, like a flock of gulls, drift out into the middle of the river, the fishermen paying out the nets, 
the rumbling of the floats would gradually die down; then all was still. The fleet was fishing. 

It frequently happened, in 1900, that a boat would scarcely have completed putting out its nets 
before it was time to haul it in again; the floats began to disappear beneath the surface of the 
water, the black dots — the floats — would no longer be an even distribution curving on the surface; 
one here, another there, or a group, irregularly; the net was full. By the time it was hauled in, 
more would be in it until it was a labour to haul it in. 

The fisherman returned to the cannery. "What's the limit?" The checker would look down at his 
boat, full and low in the water with salmon, and shout back, "150," perhaps 250, perhaps more. 
Then there was no lack of curses; all that labour, and luck, a boat full, perhaps 500, perhaps 800. 
The requisite limit was pitched on the wharf, and the remainder cast in the sea. And the 
fishermen growled as they did it; the "hard luck" of having caught too many. 

This continued week after week, and thus is was that English Bay bathing beaches became, after 
a week or so, littered with decaying salmon, borne in on the tides. 

At this time, if anyone wanted a salmon, it was frequently given free; sometimes it was paid for, 
five cents. In the summer of 1 900, July, I was at Steveston; my wife wanted a salmon to take 
home. One was wrapped in a newspaper, and in attempting to bring it home without revealing 
that we were taking one, the whole secret leaked out. It was under my arm, and in the crush to 


board the conveyance, my arm was squeezed, and the slippery salmon squirted out of the paper, 
tail first. Several persons witnessed the incident; my wife was mortified; we had been caught in 
the act. We were guilty of the indignity of carrying home so worthless a trifle as a salmon, and 
what was worse, there could be no doubt, it was our intention to eat it when we got it there. Awful. 

It was not considered good taste to serve salmon for meals when guests were present. If it was 
done, the hostess sometimes apologised, said it was a "potluck" meal, 'twas all she had, and 
excused it. Salmon was infra dignitatum among the elite, 'twas food fit for Siwashes. And even to 
this day, 1931, when it is sometimes thirty-five cents a pound, the old reluctance to place salmon 
on the table when guests are present still lingers among some of our older citizens. 

About this time, 1 900, salmon entered several of the creeks on False Creek. They penetrated as 
far as Third Avenue West and Cedar Street up a creek which entered the bay in the centre of 
Kitsilano Beach, and also as far as Eighth Avenue West, between Columbia and Yukon streets in 
Mount Pleasant, by a creek which emptied its water into False Creek near the southern end of the 
Cambie Street Bridge. 

J.S. Matthews 

6 July 1 931 - Wild animals in Vancouver. Point Grey. 

"We had a rose pergola in our garden. It was entered from the basement as well as from outside. 
One day, soon after we first went to live at 4406 West Second Avenue, between Trimble and 
Sasamat, just above the air station at Jericho — it was a wild place then — one day, father opened 
the basement door leading to the pergola, and there in front of him lay a cougar. It just ran off 
quietly. That was in September 1912." 

Miss Violette Russell, the speaker, whose father Mr. N.H. Russell died recently, was one of the 
first ten pupils at the Point Grey School, the first, now known as Queen Mary School, supposed to 
be the most beautifully located school in Canada. The old school is still standing nearby. In 
childhood days, she and other children were sometimes, but not always, accompanied by some 
older person on their way, a short distance, through the woods to school, "in case there was a 
cougar around." 

"On another occasion," said Miss Russell, "perhaps two years after we went there, perhaps three, 
we were having dinner in the dining room, when we heard the chickens in the chicken shed 
cackling. Father grasped a poker out of the fender and went over the verandah with it in his hand. 
He must have made a slight noise as he walked over the verandah, and they must have heard 
him coming, for two cougars jumped over the fence and ran off into the woods." 


15 August 1931 -Wild animals in Vancouver. Little Mountain. Capitol Hill. 

"Father shot deer on Little Mountain in 1912," stated Mr. Johnston, the taxi driver. "I have myself 
seen deer on Capitol Hill in 1914. We did not come to Vancouver until 1906; I was one year old 
then; afterwards, I went to the Bodwell Road School in South Vancouver, so far as I know the 
only school there at that time. You know how boys roam, and then father took me with him 


7 July 1931 - Street railway. Interurban. 

There were three houses only between the two cities of New Westminster and Vancouver when 
the first interurban street railway first operated. Authority: H.P. McCraney. 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0046 


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Item # EarlyVan_v1_0047 

7 July 1931 - Columbia Street. 

"In the early days, the waters of False Creek came closest to those of Burrard Inlet at Columbia 
Street. They came almost right up to Pender Street. The shore at the foot of Carrall Street (Royal 
City Planing Mills) was a little further south," said Mr. H.P. McCraney this evening, after lecturing 
to the Pioneers Association on the construction of the first electric railway in Vancouver, for which 
he had the contract in part. 

"At high tide, the waters pretty much overflowed from False Creek to Burrard Inlet. Columbia 
Street was the lowest point, as well as the narrowest. All that low portion of Vancouver, between 
Columbia Street and some distance to the west on Hastings Street, was filled in to a depth of 
four, perhaps only three feet deep." 

Dupont Street, now Pender Street East. Carrall Street. 

"The tide came right up to the corner of Dupont and Columbia Street. I helped to pile, cap, bridge 
and plank Dupont Street from Columbia to Carrall Street." (Mr. J.A. Mateer, a very early member 
of the Vancouver Volunteer Fire Brigade.) "It came right up to Dupont Street." 

Water Street, Hastings Street, Keefer Street. 

Extract, Daily News-Advertiser, 12 July 1887 (U.B.C. Library). 

Board of Works: We recommend acceptance of the following tenders: 

J.B. McKim: For Water St. without sidewalks, grubbing, $1 .65 per lineal foot. 


W.L. McDonald: For Hastings St. grubbing, etc. 240 per lineal foot, 6 foot 
sidewalk. 620 per lineal foot grubbing. 

Boyd and Clendenning: For Keefer St. 280 per lineal foot, 6 foot sidewalk. 590 
per lineal foot grubbing. 

(Note: by "6 foot sidewalk" is intended plank sidewalk, not concrete.) 

Cambie Street, Georgia Street, Seventh Avenue, Westminster Avenue, Park 
Avenue, etc. Johnstone Street. 

Extract, Daily News-Advertiser, 19 July 1887. 
Minutes of City Council. 
Board of Works recommends that: 

1 . Park Ave. and Johnstone St. with one five foot sidewalk. 

2. Cambie Street. To be grubbed, cleared, and graded with two six-foot 
sidewalks from Hastings Street to Georgia Street, and from there to the railroad 
reserve to be cleared, and close cut the full width, and eighteen feet in the centre 
grubbed, cleared, graded, ditched and crowned. 

3. Georgia Street. To be close cut, cleared and burned from Howe St. to the 
junction, and twenty feet in the centre grubbed, cleared, graded, ditched and 

There follows a long list of recommendations, including Westminster Avenue across False Creek 
Bridge, and also Campbell Avenue, too long for inclusion here. 

"Park Avenue" may refer to Park Lane or Park Road. The latter is the boundary between Stanley 
Park and the city; the former was a short street of one block, which at one time ran parallel to 
Westminster Avenue from Prior Street southwards. Johnstone Street is unknown, but may be a 
short street running east and west, which joined it to Westminster Avenue. It was the site of the 
home of John Boultbee, our first magistrate, whose brother-in-law, C. Gardner Johnson, lived 
nearby. Park Lane is now part of the Canadian National Railway station ornamental gardens. 

Seventh Avenue (not east or west, but Seventh Avenue), same date. 

"7 th Ave. To be cleared to full width and graded, ditched, crowned 1 8 feet in the centre." 
(Understood to be the first through street to be opened up from east to west in Fairview.) 

9 July 1931 - Kitsilano. Fourth Avenue West. Tatlow Park. 

"The photo of our old place, four acres, on the south side of Fourth Avenue and between 
Bayswater and Balaclava streets," said Mrs. J.Z. Hall of "Killarney." It ran back as far as Sixth 
Avenue West; a great square cut out of the bush. 

"It was cleared out of the forest, a square hole in virgin timber, and through which ran a large 
creek. We camped there each summer for four years, from about 1 906 onwards; afterwards, we 
went to live on the shore, exactly opposite the present 'Killarney.' The creek was full of trout, and 
was the large creek which ran across Fourth Avenue West between Balaclava and Bayswater in 
a deep ravine, and came out at what is now T.H. Orchardson's residence, 3005 Point Grey Road; 
a ravine which has now been filled in. This creek was not the same creek as the little one which 
still runs through Tatlow Park, just west of Macdonald Street. The big creek was forty feet wide 
where it passed through the Hall clearing; we dammed it with logs, bathed in the pool made by 
them, and fished in it. The Tatlow Park creek ran off in a southerly direction, the big creek went 
southwesterly, and must have drained a great area. It is dried up now. 


"At the time, we cleared this four acres we were living at the old Nelson Street home to which we 
had moved when we left Greer's Beach; driven off it. We went out there to camp each summer for 
four summers in succession. To get to it, we went along the Point Grey Road from the foot of 
Balsam Street — at that time the only road open going to the west — turned up an old skid road at 
Bayswater Street, and proceeded thence by a forest trail, thick with blackberries in summer. The 
Point Grey Road, especially along that short stretch between Balsam and Trafalgar, as you 
approach Mr. J.H. Calland's early home, was a dusty trail in summer, not a wagon's width wide, 
for the salmonberry and other bushes brushed both buggy wheels as we drove along. It was hard 
for a pedestrian meeting a rapidly driven conveyance on that narrow track to get out of the way 
without jumping into the matted undergrowth; there were no big trees, those had been cut away, 
but the second growth had, during several years, grown up again. 

"In winter, the same track was so deep in mud as to be almost impassible. 

"From Granville Street to Balsam Street, the route traversed was, after crossing the old Third 
Avenue Bridge via Third Avenue, and a more or less sinuous trail from about Cedar Street." 

The entrance to this forest clearing was like emerging from dark into daylight; the forest trail from 
Point Grey Road was black and gloomy. On one occasion, the writer went through it, crossed the 
clearing, and went on in search of a lot which he owned at the corner of Broadway and 
Macdonald — which the previous owner had bought for $1 5, for which he paid $21 5, and which he 
sold for $630 — but got lost in the forest, and after an afternoon's struggle to get out, finally 
emerged somewhere on Alma Road. 

In the photograph, Mrs. Hall is standing beneath the dam, preparing for a swim; in the 
background is the Chinaman's shack, to the right is the hay barn, to the left the log crossing to the 
camp; it is hard to realise that the forest background is now the paved street, Fourth Avenue 

The Halls kept two cows and a horse, grew many vegetables; there was plenty of fish in the 
creek. The great danger in summer was forest fire; one night, they had to move in a hurry to 
escape it. Theirs was a popular visiting home, for the Halls, then as now, kept open house. Then 
too, Point Grey Road was, in those days, one of the few trails where one could stroll. Kitsilano 
Hill, that part now so known, was then a barren waste of stumps without a single house; a wide 
swamp spread from the Henry Hudson School to the Beach, and was full of skunk cabbage, and 
the home of muskrats. 

Traces of the old Bayswater ravine still remain, though most have now, 1 931 , been obliterated by 
filling in with rubbish and earth. 

Vancouver Gas Company Limited. 

Extract, Daily News-Advertiser, 9 July 1887 (U.B.C. Library). 


Tenders will be received up to June 9 th for construction of brick building on 
company's grounds. 

CD. Rand, 
Victoria, B.C. 

10 July 1931 - Squatters. Hastings Street. Pender Street. 

"When the first talk was that the C.P.R. was coming to Granville," said Mr. H.P. McCraney, "it was 
known that the Provincial Government was going to give the Canadian Pacific Railway all the lots 
in Granville which had not been sold. Several people then squatted on lots and got them for 


nothing. Possibly they had been there for some time; some had not, but squatted just the same. 
Of course, this was all in old Granville Townsite, around the lower portion of Hastings and Pender 
streets. Mr. Orr, the member of parliament, squatted on one lot, and built an office on it, but the 
C.P.R. came along, and when Mr. Orr came down one morning, he found his office in the middle 
of the street. So he started to build it again, but the C.P.R. men pulled it down, so Mr. Orr decided 
that the C.P.R. had more men than he and desisted. He did not get his lot. It was all swamp there 
at that time, a muskeg full of croaking bullfrogs; they were really toads. All around the corner of 
Hastings and Abbott streets, where Woodward's Limited is now, was low land. Some of the 
squatters got their lots." 

Carrall Street. 

"At high tide, the water of False Creek and of Burrard Inlet came very close together; only a 
narrow strip of land separated them," said Mr. W.F. Findlay, member of the Pioneers Association, 
an old newspaper man — The World, Province, News-Advertiser and Sun — and a nephew of 
Lewis Carter (see Voters List, Vancouver, 1886) who built and owned the Carter House, an early 

"My uncle, Lewis Carter — my mother was his sister — was one of the surveyors of the line of the 
C.P.R. from Port Moody to Vancouver. He once told me that he had once taken a big Indian 
canoe, capable of holding three and a half tons cargo — a big canoe — and he (Mr. Carter), three 
or four Indians, and two surveyors — a regular survey party — had carried it across from Burrard 
Inlet to False Creek at high tide, via what is now Carrall Street, to save half a day's paddling, and 
bucking tide necessary to go around through the Narrows." (Also see F.R. Glover's statement in 
"Vancouver Celebrates First Dominion Day, 1887" herein.) 

10 July 1931 -Chinese Riots. John Morton. Early water. 

"You have heard of the Chinese Riots in February 1887," said Mr. H.P. McCraney, a very early 
pioneer and civic administrator, now living at the corner of 1 7 th Avenue West and Cypress Street. 
"The time the police came over from Victoria because the people of Vancouver had driven the 
Chinese out of town." (The people of Tacoma did similarly.) "Well, the Chinese went to their camp 
which was just where the Elysium Hotel is now on Pender Street, south side, close to Thurlow 
Street, where there was a splendid spring of water. The spring was under exactly what is now the 
west wing of the hotel. R.G. Tatlow, afterwards a well-known B.C. finance minister, park 
commissioner, and after whom Tatlow Park is named, owned the lots and lived there. I lived next 
door. We used to get our water from the spring before the water was laid on. There was a skid 
road which came out there. Spring water was a valuable acquisition before the water pipes were 
laid." (See fire brigades, water tanks, wells.) 

Answering a query: "Perhaps so, perhaps that was why John Morton located there. It was 
beautiful cold clear water. The people used to get it to water their cattle." (John Morton was 
Vancouver's first resident.) 

"Oh, I will tell you a real story about the Chinese Riots some time. You see, I had the contract to 
clear the land at $300 an acre, and John McDougall came in and offered to do it for $1 50. He 
brought the Chinamen. I suppose it was a certain amount of selfishness on my part. He is still 
living at Quesnel." 


10 July 1931 -The Great Fire of 1886. H.P. McCraney. 

"The manner in which the Regina Hotel, which was in the path of fire, escaped was this," said 
H.P. McCraney, a very early pioneer of Vancouver, one of our first park commissioners, a former 
alderman, and who laid our first street car tracks. 


"The Regina Hotel stood at the southwest corner of Cambie and Water streets. Some workmen 
were clearing land in the neighbourhood where the fire started;" (Ed Cosgrove had a contract for 
the clearing, he said.) "the wind was so strong that it drove the fire straight before it; that was how 
it left two wings untouched, the wing on the north with the Hastings Mill, and the wing on the 
south a small settlement over towards the south end of Westminster Avenue Bridge; the fire just 
cut straight through. 

"Those houses which escaped destruction were in the Westminster Avenue direction; up near the 
bridge which at one time crossed False Creek on Westminster Avenue, now Main Street, near the 
Canadian National Railway station. One of the houses belonged to John Boultbee, the police 
magistrate, another to A.R. Costrie, the butcher, a third to T.J. Janes, driver of the New 
Westminster stage line, who is still living. My lumber yard was saved, and there were three others 
in that section whose houses were saved. 

"On approaching the Regina Hotel after the fire was seen to be no longer controllable, the 
workmen who had been clearing the land found that the occupants of the hotel had gone. They 
took nothing with them; they just went, and without much reflection either. The workmen noticed 
that it did not seem impossible to keep the fire away from the hotel building, so took shovels, 
covered up with earth what fires they could, put wet blankets on the roof, subdued the fire burning 
near the building, and so saved it. Then they entered the building, found it deserted; the bar was 
open and deserted, so they simply helped themselves. Some were not as moderate as they might 
have been, and had rather an enjoyable time. 

"The Regina Hotel can be seen in the photograph "Vancouver after the fire," a solitary building in 
the far background. 

"As the fire came nearer, I decided to move out, and took my trunk down to the wharf at the foot 
of Carrall Street where there was a shed on floats. I asked the man on the float if I may put my 
trunk on it; he replied, 'y es >' so I did. The floating shed stood on logs. I tried to drag my trunk 
around the corner of the shed, but there was insufficient room, so we tried to turn the float around 
for protection from the fire, but the wind was so strong we could not do it. Things were getting 
desperate, so I put my trunk in a canoe, but as I got in after it, the canoe turned over — the trunk 
was top-heavy cargo — and dumped trunk and me into water twenty feet deep. 

"The trunk floated away, and then drifted onto the beach, where I secured it again. 

"I think the shed shown in the background of the well-known picture of the City Hall, a tent, and 
four policemen in front — Vancouver's first force — is the same shed." 

14 July 1931 - Residential areas of Vancouver. 

Prior to 1886, the residential area of, before April, Granville, after April, Vancouver, was simple. It 
had but one street, Water Street; all the remainder were woods and forest. 

After 1886, after the railway came, the residential areas divided. The best residential area was 
probably, at first, and just after the fire, to the south of the Hastings Sawmill, centering around 
Cordova Street East, Dunlevy Avenue, etc., and then later, when the railway came, along the 
Bluff, upon the top of the cliff overlooking Burrard Inlet, from Granville Street to Burrard Street, 
gradually straggling along Seaton Street, Pender Street, etc., to the junction of Pender Street and 
Georgia Street. Here the C.P.R. Railway officials gathered, and their friends, though some went 
still farther westward to near Stanley Park. There were, strictly speaking, no houses east of 
Granville Street and north of Pender Street; that section developed into a business area from the 

Gradually, the district surrounding St. James Church on Cordova Street became less popular for 
prominent families. One or two well-known names built beyond Denman Street, others selected 
points on Beach Avenue, then the only street running along the southern slope of Vancouver, 
from Granville to English Bay. A few gathered about the district near the corner of Burrard and 
Robson streets, some on Georgia Street, both west and east of Burrard. A poorer class of 


residence spread south from Pender Street down Cambie, Hamilton, Homer, Richards and 
Seymour almost to Drake Street. In 1 898, Richards and Seymour streets were fairly well filled 
with narrow houses, on 25-foot lots. Howe and Hornby streets, close in, were more pretentious, 
and there were some very nice homes on Robson Street. 

As time went on, many splendid residences were built on that slope which looks westerly over 
English Bay. More of the best closed in about Stanley Park entrances, beyond Denman Street. 
This would be the period prior to about 1 908. During this time, Robson, Georgia and Beach 
Avenue were considered most select districts. In the summer of 1900 or 1901, Davie Street was 
opened up, and a year or so later, the finest residence in Vancouver, that of B.T. Rogers of the 
Sugar Refinery, was built at the corner of Davie and Nicola streets — now the Angus Apartments. 
Robson Street and Georgia Street were lined with beautiful avenues of trees. 

Then came the real estate "boom" days. Vancouver was growing; the slogan "100,000 men in 
1910" was heard on all sides. Shaughnessy, Kitsilano were talked of, cheaper houses gradually 
closed the gaps, filled up the vacant lots in the West End; then came the apartment house, and 
the West End went down a strictly ultra-fashionable district. 

About 1 91 0, fine homes were built on the brow of the hill overlooking Kitsilano Beach, others 
spread along the waterfront along Point Grey Road; a section under building restrictions was 
placed on the market just west of the Indian Reserve, but it did not hold its superiority long. There 
were hundreds of vacant lots in all sections, many even in the older West End. 

The throwing open for settlement of the first section of Shaughnessy Heights — reputed at the time 
to be the most wonderful residential section of Vancouver's future — unsettled all previous ideas of 
where a fine home should be built. The buggy was disappearing, the motor car was coming; 
distances were a less formidable an obstacle than formerly. The verandah was still a necessity, 
but rapidly nearing its end, and soon to shrink into a mere porch. The broad verandah, the scene 
so long ago of evening parties, of Sunday afternoon gatherings, of sunshine and fresh air in the 
summer days, was about to disappear. The Ford motor car killed it. 

A few isolated houses of excellence and much cost went down the Magee Road (Marine Drive), 
all on selected sites, large surrounding grounds, but they were comparatively few. Then the Great 
War came, and for a time building almost ceased, until at its conclusion there was almost a 
dearth of houses in Vancouver. 

Despite the high cost of material following the war, building went on the rampage. Kerrisdale grew 
like a mushroom, high class houses soon filled up Quilchena, the territory contiguous to Fourth 
Avenue West grew apace with houses of a lesser pretence. From 1923 to 1928 there was a rush 
of building; whole streets were filled in a few months, especially down the slope from the crest of 
Granville Street South in all directions. 

Then the stock market crashed. In 1930, carpenters and builders struggled on under much 
financial worry. In 1 931 , building very nearly ceased. 

This sketchy resume is somewhat misleading, not altogether accurate; it gives but the roughest 
outline, misses more than it encloses, of a very interesting subject, the building of the splendid 
homes of our beautiful city. 


15 July 1931 - Bicycles and bicycle paths. 

The bicycle "craze" was prevalent in Vancouver, as elsewhere, about 1900; almost every family 
had at least one, some had more; nearly all young men, and most young women, many elderly 
men and some elderly women rode. It was a convenient mode of travel in a city as yet unprovided 
with a full street car service; a growing city badly scattered, and among a people who, as yet, had 
acquired no individual wealth to speak of. Motor cars were still some years off, many had neither 


facilities, room, nor means to possess stables or buggies. The bicycle was no longer the unwieldy 
"penny-ha'penny," big wheel small wheel affair. The "safety" bicycle had come, and with it the 
Dunlop pneumatic tire; and the "coaster brake" was soon coming. Both wheels were the same 
size now; it was easily mounted and dismounted, and a fall from it rarely gave much hurt, as the 
old high wheel, hard tire "wheel" did. 

The bicycle became so popular that racks were put up in the vestibules of the small office 
buildings to receive the "machines" of those employed there and who had business there. At the 
City Hall, there was a long rack which would accommodate perhaps two dozen bicycles. Similar 
racks existed at the C.P.R. Depot, and also public places such as parks, post office and hotel 
lobbies. At the corner of Pender and Granville streets, where now stands the Rogers Buildings, a 
school for bicycle riding was flourishing. IT covered two or three lots, about 75 feet by 120 feet, 
covered with crushed cinders pressed down, and fenced with a high fence to hide it from the 
curious, for pupils did not take kindly to making a public amusement for street spectators by their 
efforts to stay on a "wheel." Dealers in bicycles did a "land office" business, the managers of 
wholesale bicycle firms were important men and well known. Repairs shops were many; a 
knowledge of the merits or demerits of the different makes was essential to any young person 
with pretences of being up-to-date, and the performance of the best and fastest riders at the big 
bicycle meetings at Brockton Point and elsewhere were discussed on the corner, in the drawing 
room and the newspapers. Manufacturers advertised widely; one form was to have trick riders — 
men who rode on one wheel, etc. — perform on the street in the daytime, usually evening, for the 
enlightenment of passersby. All kinds of gadgets were invented as accessories, including "fancy 
toned" bells (rung with the thumb to warn pedestrians to get out of the way), lamps of fancy 
design (which burned kerosene), extra hand brakes, handles and handlebars of high, low and 
medium twist, mud guards large and small, rims of wood and rims of polished metal; and they all 
had their advocates, some violent. A pair of bicycle clips was an article of common household 
furniture, as necessary as a street car ticket is now. 

At the period spoken of, concrete sidewalks were limited to the space in front of some of the more 
recently constructed downtown buildings; all others, on Granville, Hastings, Cordova streets were 
wooden planks running crosswise; in the residential streets all sidewalks were of wood, mostly 
five-foot width crosswise save in the more sparsely settled, newer districts, where they were 
three-plank lengthwise. The streets were largely macadam or wooden plank. In winter, the 
macadam was muddy; the planks, frequently loose, had a nasty habit of squirting dirty water up 
the cracks between when a weight passed over, frequently soiling the trouser legs. This led to 
riding on the wooden sidewalks, especially in the dark or dusk. Pedestrians on these walks 
noised their objections with the result that a by-law regulating bicycle traffic and bicyclists was 
passed by the City Council. The fine for the first offence of riding on a sidewalk was five dollars; it 
was unlawful to ride a bicycle at night without a light. A license to ride was necessary, and the 
police were kept busy enforcing the law; a daily crop of charges were heard at the police court. 

The "machines" were so numerous that the City Council ordered special bicycle paths 
constructed on those streets which were most frequently used. These paths were invariably 
cinder surfaced, and rolled flat, and ran along the edge of the street between the gutter and 
wooden sidewalk. They were about six feet wide, and constantly kept in order, level and smooth, 
by city workmen. 

The bicycle paths led to and from some well-frequented area, or beside streets where there was 
considerable vehicular traffic. One ran from Seymour Street, along the north side, to the entrance 
of Stanley Park; another on the west side of Seymour from Robson to Pacific Street; a third from 
Granville Street South (from the Third Avenue Bridge) from the bridge, along the north side of 
Third Avenue to about Maple Street, where the track turned off in an indeterminate direction 
through the clearing until it reached Greer's Beach. This cinder path ended at Maple Street. 
There must have been others; I think there were, perhaps on Pender Street West, to the Park, on 
Powell Street, on Westminster Avenue leading to Mount Pleasant, and on Beatty or Cambie 
streets to the bridge, and then up the hill on the south side of False Creek. These cinder paths 
ceased as they approached the centre of the business section of that day. 


Gradually, the bicycle craze died down, and the street car system was extended into even remote 
and sparsely settled districts; then the motor car came. The bicycle paths fell into disrepair, and 
finally mysteriously disappeared. 

J. S. Matthews 


This was written in 1 931 . It's very different in 1 941 . Many bicycles now. JSM 

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Item # EarlyVan_v1_0049 



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Item # EarlyVan_v1_0050 

15 July 1931 - "West End, 1890," the photograph. 

A photograph, entitled "West End, 1890" has been sold by Mr. W. Chapman, to the number of 
three hundred, so he says, Vancouver people. He holds the copyright. [NOTE ADDED LATER: 
Not correct.] It was taken in 1890 from a point in Fairviewjust behind the present Recreation 
Park, situate on Fifth Avenue West just about a block east of Granville Street South. Mr. 
Chapman is a recluse who has lived for the past twenty-one years in an old sealing schooner, 
which, during all that time, has lain under the Kitsilano railway bridge. 

The details of the photograph as related to me by Mr. Chapman are: 

Immediately in the foreground there was once a house which blocked or spoilt the pictorial effect, 
so he removed it, by patching, from the photo. It stood just behind the dark bush in the picture, 
and must have been a very early house. It is still standing in 1 931 , just across from the southeast 
corner of Recreation Park. A little lane runs down the side of the board fence of the ball ground, 
and the house is just on the corner. Mr. Proud lived in it in 1915. 

The tree on the far side of False Creek, the tall fir or hemlock, is at the foot of Broughton Street, 
just in front of Mrs. J.C. Keith's garden, which runs down to the water. The stump is still there in 

Across False Creek are three houses in the West End. Two only remain in 1931. The third, A. 
McCreery's, was removed three or four years ago when "Tudor Manor," a large apartment, was 


The one at the top is on Davie Street; it is on the skyline. Today it is numbered 1112 and 1 114 
Davie Street, a three-storey building with balconies on the second and third floors, and stands on 
the south side of Davie Street, third building from the Capitola Apartments. Two large rowan or 
mountain ash trees, at least twelve inches through, which shows their age, stand on the lawn. It 
was built by Mr. Bouchier, who died in the spring of 1 931 . Walter Leek, president of the 
Vancouver Exhibition Association, once lived in it. 

A Frenchman, Mr. Bouchier, later employed by the late Senator S.J. Crowe, built it. He died in the 
spring of 1931. 

The assessment roll, at the City Hall, dated 1 888 of this property: 

F.D. Boucher, Lot 2, Block 25, D.L. 185, (assessed) $275.00 

Alfonse Moriw (?), Lot 3, Block 25, D.L. 185, (assessed) $275.00 

On 10 July 1931, whilst photographing this building with a photographer (photo in Archives) Major 
Matthews removed from the outside wall, by pulling it with his fingers, a "ten penny nail," about 
three inches long, of the old square cut type with oblong head, a type found in all early Vancouver 
buildings — used before the "wire" or round "drawn" nail was in common use. The nail is badly 
rusted, but quite strong, after forty-one years exposure to the weather. It is now in the Vancouver 
City Museum. The wood of the corner was rotted, but where protected from weather was as 
sound as the day put in. 

The third house, lowest down the hill, is on Beach Avenue, still standing in 1931 (see photo in 
Archives) and is now the second home east from Bute Street — runs from Pacific to Beach — the 
back facing the Royal Mansions. It was built by (Captain) Lacy R. Johnson, master mechanic of 
the Canadian Pacific Railway, about 1 890 or earlier. He was an officer of Vancouver's first militia 
unit, and afterwards moved to Montreal. 

In the far distance, the forest runs along Nicola Street. The well-known pioneer, Mr. W.D. Burdis, 
built a small cottage with a steeple roof — now 1931 in the lane between Pendrell and Comox 
streets at Gilford Street. In this forest, the timber was all around, and when Gilford Street — stated 
by Mr. Burdis to be the first street opened up from Burrard Inlet to English Bay — was cleared, it 
was found that it was in the middle of the street and had to be moved. It was not the first house in 
the West End. It was afterwards moved again to its present location in the lane, and is still 


15 July 1931 -Talton Place. 

Talton Place, still so known to residents of the real estate boom days, was a loosely defined 
section bounded on the west by the Marpole Interurban car tracks, on the east by Cypress Street, 
and centred about 13 th , 14 th , 15 th and 16 avenues west, but more especially 14 and 15 th 
avenues. My recollection is that the first house built in this section, then a rough tract of semi- 
cleared land, was built in August 1910. 

At the period the real estate boom was booming fiercely; the people were pouring into Vancouver; 
houses were going up in all directions, Kitsilano included. 

A firm called the Prudential Builders Limited, closely allied to the old B.C. Permanent Loan Co. 
(Langlois, manager) "put on" Talton Place. It was not the first of their ventures. They had a factory 
on Dufferin or Lome Street, built "ready made," or sectional houses — houses made to a standard, 
which could be put up in sections, each one capable of slight alteration as to exterior. Many were 
shipped to prairie provinces; many were erected in Vancouver. 

The "Place" was intended to be a select district; everything was to be done for the purchaser 
before he walked in. There was to be no more of the endless work of making lawns, putting up 
fences, planting shrubs, etc. The lawns were to be levelled, the ornamental and useful trees 


planted; everything was to be ready. Actually, it was the first thing of the sort in Vancouver to be 
attempted on anything like a pretentious scale. The Prudential Builders Ltd. was bankrupt some 
years later, and still later the B.C. Permanent Loan was absorbed by the Canada Permanent 
Loan Corporation. 

All houses built about this period had wide verandahs — the motor car was rare, people spent their 
summer evenings on the cool, wide verandahs, content with the peaceful pleasure of watching 
passers-by, watering the lawn, and playing the gramophone in the open air. Then the motor car 
came, and verandahs shrunk to porches. 

The houses of Talton Place were known as "California bungalows," all two-storey, single exterior, 
wide verandah, massive steps and verandah pillars of manifold design of heavy appearance, 
actually mere boards, railings to match, angular roofs. Stucco was almost unknown. (The first 
stucco house in Kitsilano was Major Matthews' little cottage on Kitsilano Beach, 1158 Arbutus 

The interior was generally of "mission style," with beam ceilings, panelled walls in the living 
rooms; the "den" with fireplace, was extremely popular. The rooms were large for at that time the 
"breakfast alcove" and the "dinette" had not been attempted; large houses of two storeys were in 

Electric fixtures did not include the floor plug, nor the wall light; the vacuum clearer was generally 
screwed into a light socket. The lights were of the central ceiling type, drop candelabra; electric 
bulbs were carbon bulbs, of 16, 32 or higher "candle power"; then came the tungsten bulb; finally 
the nitrogen bulb. Bathtubs still stood on feet; the Pembroke baths were available but being very 
expensive, reserved for hotels and the more expensive mansions, but the old galvanised bathtub 
of early Vancouver was no longer installed. The kitchen was large, usually in white enamel, the 
dining room large, the living room small, as compared with living rooms of the 1920 to 1930 
period. The "cooler" was without refrigeration. It was not until 1925 that "Kelvinators," and 
afterwards "Frigidaire," etc., were timidly introduced, and buyers were shy. The post-war period 
developed a demand for a one-floor bungalow, with an enormous living room, a tiny dining room, 
and a cabinet kitchen. The old style house became a "drug upon the market"; the garage 
replaced the woodshed and chicken house of the 1 9 th century, as also the wide verandah of the 
early 20 th . 

"Talton Place" was very proud of itself at first, and very select; the novelty wore off, and it dropped 
to commonplace, still beautiful with its boulevard of graceful trees, planted by its creators. 

J.S. Matthews 

15 July 1931 - Deadman's Island. Hospitals. Early pest house. Smallpox. 

"The first pest house," said Mrs. J.Z. Hall, of "Killarney," Point Grey Road, and a daughter of Sam 
Greer of Greer's Beach (Kitsilano Beach), "was actually merely a pest shack. Deadman's Island 
was put to good use in the early days as an isolation island for contagious diseases. 

"I think it must have been in 1892 that we had the smallpox scare in Vancouver. It was supposed 
to have come in by the "Empresses" from the Orient, for hardly anyone who had anything to do 
with the Empress of China, Empress of India, or Empress of Japan, the C.P.R.'s first yacht-like 
liners, escaped it. It was a terrible July; yellow flags were everywhere; no one who went through it 
will forget the scare we got. 

"Houses were quarantined back and front — there was no getting out of them; people were 
quarantined all over the city. We lived on Nelson Street — I was Miss Greer then — Nelson Street 
was very sparsely settled, so was Robson Street, but there were cases on Robson Street. One 
young man, I recall, decided to help Mr. Hanna, the undertaker, contracted the disease and died. 

"It was the custom to put those stricken in an express wagon, and with the driver ringing a bell to 
keep people away, warning them, the load of sick, frequently girls from Dupont Street, who had 


been visited by the sailors from the Empresses, would be driven down to the dock, and taken by 
boat to Deadman's Island, some said, 'well named for such an undertaking.'" 


"There is a reference in the News-Advertiser somewhere, I forget where, to the effect that the 
man who displayed especial diligence at the fire at the hospital be given $25. It would seem to 
indicate that the first Hospital in Vancouver was burned down." 


No. It was not. 


Granville Street. 

Extract, Daily News-Advertiser, 12 July 1887. 

A communication from William Powers (to City Council) asked that immediate 
steps be taken to grade, and macadamise Granville Street from Cordova Street 
to Robson Street, and to build wide sidewalks from Cordova Street to False 
Creek. Referred to Board of Works. 

Extract, same newspaper, 17 July 1887 (U.B.C. Library). 

The Board of Works at their meeting, Friday afternoon, decided upon grading 
Granville Street the full width as far as the C.P.R. Hotel, also to lay ten foot 
(board) sidewalks on both sides of the street, and to lay one ten foot sidewalk 
from the Hotel to False Creek. This much needed work will be a great 
improvement to the vicinity, and will tend to increase the value of the property. 

In the winter of 1 886, the skids of the old logging road down Granville Street were still in position, 
see W.H. Gallagher. Later a two-plank sidewalk ran in front of the Hotel Vancouver, see Mrs. J.Z. 

Mr. Geo. L. Schetky spent the night of the Great Fire of 1 886 (June 1 3 th ) in a shack at the corner 
of Robson and Granville streets used by a Mr. Jerry Rogers whilst clearing the forest from the 
West End. Mr. Schetky escaped from the fire on Water Street, made his way to False Creek via 
Westminster Avenue, and took trail through the clearing to the corner of Robson Street. 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0051 


; ? VANCO' 

"ants abo'it P.O. 

The crest of ihe hiJ 1 midst a ccnfupion of fore:*. deLrie. Sxcba :.f fourida".ior:r for 

the first Hotel Vancouver, Granville and Georgia St, L886. (Courtesy H.J.Cmbie Esqljs 1 " 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0052 

Motel Vancouver avul Coo r\ Houst 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0053 


20 July 1931 - Granville Street. J.R. Seymour. 

"S.L. Howe, now the Honourable S.L. Howe, provincial secretary, built the building on the 
northwest corner of Georgia Street and Granville, the old C.P.R. tennis courts," said Mr. J.R. 
Seymour, an early druggist of Vancouver. "I paid him seventy-five dollars a month rent for the first 
year, gradually rising to ninety dollars for the last year, 1 904. My first drug store was on the 
corner of Seymour Street and Hastings" (northwest corner), "my second as above, exactly the 
same store as now, the Georgia Pharmacy. I sold both my stores in 1904 to Messrs. McDowell, 
Atkins and Watson, at that time the big drug firm of Vancouver, for $25,000. 

"Of course, there was not much business at Georgia and Granville in 1900, when I first went 

"There were plenty of vacant lots on Granville Street between Robson and the C.P.R. Depot." 

The present rental of the same store is, in 1 931 , $1 ,350 per month. 

18 December 1931. 

Mr. Henderson, proprietor of the Georgia Pharmacy, tells me that (about 1 928, and before the 
stock market crash) Mr. Howe sold his building, he believes for $825,000, of which $200,000 was 
cash and a mortgage of $600,000. 

At the time his monthly rental for the same store exactly as he rented for seventy-five dollars per 
month to Mr. Seymour in 1 900, was $1 ,500 per month. On account of the depression he 
succeeded in getting this reduced to $1 ,400, and he is now paying $1 ,350, but is moving to a 
building now in process of erection, facing the Hotel Vancouver, on Georgia Street. This he is 
doing because he has been notified that a new lease will be granted only on condition that he 
pays $1 ,400 for the first year, then $1 ,500, and finally $1 ,600 for the third year, per month, and 
with a six months notice clause to vacate. 

And this ground was, less than fifty years ago, a forest jungle. 

20 July 1931 - Hotels. 

The Carter House 

The Carter House stood on Water Street, between Cambie and Abbott, and faced the inlet. The 
first one was burned down in the Great Fire. It was a hotel well known to all pioneers, and 
construction work to replace it was commenced the day after the fire, the lumber collected on the 
ground. It was owned by Lewis Carter (Welsh spelling of Lewis), the uncle of W.F. Findlay (see 
elsewhere), who has a photo of it. It is also to be seen in the photo of the first train arriving. Mr. 
Findlay says it was the first three-storey building in Vancouver, both before and after the fire. Mr. 
Carter had worked on the survey party which brought the C.P.R. line from Port Moody to 

J.A. Mateer disputes this, and says the first three-storey building was on the south side of 
Hastings, between Carrall and Abbott streets, and known as the C.P.R. Hotel, built four days after 
the Great Fire and owned by McPherson. 


The C.P.R. Hotel was built first as a two-storey, and afterwards raised to three storey, but 
the Carter House was the first three-storey. The C.P.R. was subsequently known as the 
Northern Hotel. W.F. Findlay, 12 April 1932. 


The Brunswick House. 

This stood on Hastings Street, between Carrall and Abbott — an old directory shows it as 29-35 
Hastings Street West — and was owned and operated by Pat Carey and his wife. Opposite was 
the C.P.R. Hotel. 

"It was built in 1 888," said Mr. W.F. Findlay, "and although on the fringe of the woods, did a good 
business. It was on the north side of the street (?), between Carrall and Abbott, about the middle 
of the block." (See photo in Archives.) 

"Pat was a rough diamond, an Irishman, and a character; he died in Prince Rupert about 1927. In 
the winter of 1 889, the police were ordered to clean up Dupont Street; some of the women 
scattered, one landed in the Brunswick House. Pat found out. At first, he would not credit it; it was 
proven; then followed a scene which everyone talked about but no one mentioned in polite 
company; some caustic remarks were passed by Pat. Pat saw her off in a hurry, in one of Adam 
Hick's cabs." 

(Note: see A.E. Beck's Memoir of Early Vancouver for telegram from Pat to Judge Begbie to "hold 
the court down until I get there," and Judge Begbie's threat. Also, on 1 July 1 887, Vancouver was 
possessed of one brougham only.) 

20 July 1931 - Kitsilano Beach. Greer's Point. The "hotel site," Kitsilano 

Kitsilano Beach was, until about 1910, commonly known as Greer's Beach, but as Kitsilano grew, 
especially after the C.P.R. offered land for sale in that district, it quickly became Kitsilano Beach, 
hastened by the introduction of a street car service with the designation "KITSILANO." The point 
at the northern end remained unnamed. 

It was Major J. S. Matthews who first, about 1925 or 1926, made the proposal that the point be 
named "Greer's Point." Major Matthews was one of the earliest settlers; he built his home behind 
Greer's Beach in 1912, and when moving in, his furniture was carried down Maple Street from 
Cornwall, Maple Street being impassable for wheeled traffic. 

He regretted that no honour, such as a place name — Greer Street was not changed from Short 
Street until about 1928 or later — had been given to the memory of the sturdy old pioneer Sam 
Greer, and through a friend, Mr. W.J. Findlay, brought the matter before the Vancouver Pioneers 
Association, who petitioned the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, who in turn took it up with the 
Admiralty authorities in London, with the result that after some lapse of time it was officially 
designated "Greer's Point," and so appears on the Admiralty charts of 1930. 


Kitsilano Beach, Greer's Beach. 

In the Daily News-Advertiser for Wednesday, 6 July 1887, the following advertisement appears. 


As the injunction has been raised by the Supreme Court off my property, I am 
prepared to furnish the best quality of pit sand. 

(signed) S. Greer. 

English Bay. 

20 July 1931 - Kitsilano Beach. The "Canadian Band." Bull frogs. 

Up to about 1 920, the "Canadian Band," or bull frogs, nightly furnished music of sorts at Kitsilano 
Beach; at certain periods of the evening it rose to an almost continuous roar, and even as late as 


1923 or 1924, there was still a certain amount of croaking, in the springtime, in the low garden of 
Major J.S. Matthews at the corner of Whyte Avenue and Arbutus Street. 

The frogs were the last survivors of a great band which in earlier days made the low ground, the 
muskeg, at the back of Greer's Beach, their habitat. Even as late as 1 920 — after the sand had 
been pumped in seven years — there was a goodly chorus each summer evening; most of the 
noise came from the south side of the Kitsilano Street car tracks, which had not been filled in; a 
low area ran from east of Maple Street to Yew Street with Cornwall Street as its southern 
boundary. The reason for this was as follows. 

In 1913, there was considerable dredging to deepen the channel of False Creek; it was 
necessary to secure some place to put the dredged out sand. The low land adjacent to the beach 
and behind it offered a suitable spot; the sand would be taken from where it was an obstruction to 
navigation, and placed where it would raise the level of residential lots to that of the street car 
tracks — in places, as much as thirteen feet. 

The property owners in this low section were offered the opportunity to have this low land filled in 
with sand, pumped from False Creek by the Pacific Dredging Company, who had the contract. At 
that time there was, north of the track and on the low land, three houses only, those of Major 
Matthews, Dr. Humber and Alderman Williamson. The City of Vancouver offered to elevate these 
three houses free of cost; the Pacific Dredging Company wanted payment, $1 00 per lot, from the 
property owners for the filling in. Major Matthews, at least, paid the charge, and the other two 
probably did, and in due time the land was filled in, that of Major Matthews, at 1343 Maple Street, 
being filled in thirteen feet. The sand was pumped in from the dredge anchored in False Creek by 
means of huge pipes, carried on small scow floats to the shore, and then run over the land, 
continuous moving from place to place being necessary for the outlet. There was a tremendous 
flow of water through the mouth of the pipes, and many fish came through with sand and water, 
and gave the school youngsters much amusement and wet feet. The pumping continued for 
about three months. 

The property owners on the south side of the street car track — between that and Cornwall 
Street — assumed a haughty demeanor. The owners of the only two houses on that side of the 
track — they stood on Laburnum Street, east side — took the view that if the dredging company 
wanted to pump sand onto their lots they could do so, and so could the city raise their houses, 
and could be responsible for damage. The city and the company wanted to do it, said they, but 
we are not going to pay for it. 

The City and the dredging company simply turned their face away, and now, eighteen years after, 
throughout all those years, the land still lies in ugly vacancy, low as formerly, with rough streets 
and poor sidewalks on Laburnum Street, almost unchanged since they were built in 191 1 . For 
many years the lots — all of them — remained vacant; since the war, a few have been built on; on 
the north side of the railway there is scarce a vacant lot. During all these years they have been 
paying taxes on useless property on the south side which might have long since been built upon 
or sold — the lots are practically unsaleable. 

An illuminating commentary on the futility of greed. 

In the winter of 1 930-31 , all that area north of Cornwall Street, bounded by Yew and Arbutus 
streets, soon to be a park, was filled with earth, drawn by wagon, taken from the tunnel to contain 
the great sewer constructed on the hillside above, from Mount Pleasant to Jericho. The northern 
boundary of this area is the street car tracks. In 1 931 it was still a mass of earth mounds. The 
grass plot, behind the beach, and between Whyte Avenue and the tennis courts was made into a 
lawn, but not used, in 1930. The old eyesore is now a beauty spot. 

20 July 1931 - Fires and fire brigades. 

Memorandum of conversation with Mr. J.A. Mate 
and who has resided at this address since 1903. 

Memorandum of conversation with Mr. J.A. Mateer, of 900 7 th Avenue West, a very early pioneer, 


Mr. Mateer said that the engine shown in the photo as pumping water, with a building "RAND 
BROS." in left distance, is pumping water out of a fire tank at the corner of Granville Street and 
Dunsmuir, where now stands the stores and offices of the B.C. Electric Railway Co. 

"It may be the first fire engine which Vancouver possessed, but it does not look familiar. It looks 
more like a 'La France' engine; the first engine was a Ronald's fire engine, manufactured in 
Toronto, and the name plate 'M.A. MacLean,' the name of our first mayor, was on the engine 
when it arrived. Further, the man standing beside it does not appear to be 'Daddy' Cameron" 
(Alex Cameron.) "I would not like to say it is not the first engine, but I do not think that it is. 

"The first engine was tested on the Cambie Street wharf, a short wharf erected just after the 
Great Fire, and which ran out into Burrard Inlet at the north end of Cambie Street. The first stream 
hit Mayor M.A. MacLean and Mr. Tom Dunn, the chairman of the Fire and Water Committee. I 
know, because I was the nozzle man." 

Query: Intentional? 

"Of course it was; just an 'accident,' only don't say so; a joke. 

"I think Mr. Findlay is wrong when he says the engine was christened; I do not recall any 
christening ceremony. The name plate was on it when it arrived. 


Think the date this engine was tried out was on the evening of 2 August 1 886. Think 
there is an account of it in Vancouver News. 

"As to the pressure; there was no pressure. There was no water; none other than in those tanks. 
Vancouver had no water supply other than wells. We relied on seepage to fill the tanks. One tank 
was at the corner of Dunsmuir and Granville, another at the corner of Carrall Street and Powell 
Street, in the sort of square formed there by Carrall, Powell, Alexander and Water streets; and 
opposite Scuitto's fruit store which stood on the sharp angle formed by Alexander Street and 
Powell Street, where the Europe Hotel now stands; another at the foot of Richards Street on the 
junction of Richards and Water streets, and a fourth between Columbia and Carrall on 
Oppenheimer Street ." (Now Cordova Street East.) 

Mr. Mateer laughed and confirmed the narrative, dated 3 July 1931, and headed "Fires and fire 
engines" of Mr. Geo. L. Schetky. He continued: 

"The photo is an early hose reel team, not Vancouver, I think, Nanaimo, because here are Ernie 
Van Houten, Bert Peck and Cassels the half breed. It is taken in front of the old hall, No. 1 , on 
Water Street." 

Note: the photo is of a group of fire "ladies," a hose reel, an open (sliding) door, and one man only 
in a dark shirt. It is a very early Nanaimo Fire Company, perhaps 1888 to 1890, and the full list of 
names is shown on the photo in the Archives. A copy of the photo has been sent to the Bastion, 
Nanaimo, for preservation. 

Mr. Mateer also confirmed narrative by Mr. H.P. McCraney, 10 July 1931, re Great Fire of 1886. 

"When we organised the first fire brigade, we appointed a secretary, and kept careful minutes of 
our meetings. We had company meetings once a week, and department meetings once a month, 
and the company meeting minutes were written into the minute book of the department, but our 
first secretary, Barney Beckett, died suddenly, and was succeeded by Dave Thomas, and in the 
transfer the minutes were somehow lost. I have asked Dave Thomas twenty times if he has or 
had any idea where the minutes got to, but he does not know. It is a great pity they were lost, or 
cannot be found, for there are many points which they would settle, which now arise. Of course, 
when it became a paid department, we ceased to take the former interest. 

"Ex-Chief J. H. Carlisle, for so many years the fire chief of Vancouver, was not the first fire chief. 
The first chief was Sam Pedgrift, who absconded with the funds of a minstrel show which the 


firemen put on. No matter how much we dislike it, how much we esteem Mr. Carlisle, the fact 
remains that Mr. Carlisle was not the first fire chief. But he has always been considered as such, 
and treated so, but 'history is history.' 

"I rather think the 'M.A. MacLean' fire engine arrived before Mr. Carlisle was fire chief. 

"I do not recognise this building to the right of the tent," he said, on being shown the photograph 
of the ruins of Vancouver after the fire. "The building here is the Regina Hotel, on the corner of 
Water and Cambie streets, but this is, I think, a scow house; there were a number of scow 
houses which escaped destruction, and it looks more about where Mr. Cates, old Mr. Cates and 
his family, father of Captain J.A. Cates, had a scow house and a ship yard down there. I think the 
point is more where Captain Cates lived than where Andy Linton had his boat house." (At foot of 
Carrall Street.) 

Dupont Street, now Pender Street East. 

"Dupont Street was, at that time, a street on piles. I walked over the stringers when they were 
building it. The tide came right up to the corner of Dupont and Columbia Street," said Mr. Mateer. 

The fire engine "M.A. MacLean." 

"The first test of the first fire engine Vancouver had was made on the Cambie Street wharf in the 
presence of Mayor MacLean, and Thos. Dunn, with myself at the nozzle," said Mr. Mateer. "We 
pumped the water out of the sea." 

21 July 1931 - McDonough Hall, oldest building in downtown district of 
Vancouver, 1931. 

"The first big ball in Vancouver was held in the McDonough Hall," said Mr. W.F. Findlay. "The 
building is now used for some sort of a mission, that is, top floor, with stores of various sorts on 
the street level. It is at the southeast corner of Columbia and Hastings Street, and is, I believe, 
the oldest building in downtown Vancouver, a wooden building approximately fifty feet facing on 
Hastings Street." (See photo in Archives.) 

"It was built in the fall of 1 887, and finished in 1 888. At the time people remarked, as they saw it 
in process of erection, 'Why the — did he go out in the woods to build it?' It was a grand ball, 
and, if I remember rightly, Dr. Bell-Irving and Mr. (afterwards General) J. Duff Stuart were floor 
managers. It was a really 'grand' ball, the supper was on the upper floor; the lower floor, even at 
that time, was stores, or rather, a grocery store." 


"I would not say 'first big ball.' I do know this, that it was the first of the St. Andrews and 
Caledonian Society." W.F. Findlay, 12 April 1932. 

Lotus Hotel, Abbott Street. 

Years ago, Mr. Campbell of the Vancouver Fire Department, and formerly assistant chief at the 
fire hall which, about 1 904 onwards, stood at the southeast corner of Ninth Avenue and Granville 
Street, and who lived on the northwest corner of Pacific and Howe streets, told me that one 
evening in the early days, he wandered into the Sunnyside Hotel and was persuaded to buy, for 
one dollar, a ticket in a raffle for a lot. He did not want the ticket, but took it, and put it in his 

He got the lot at the northwest corner of Abbott and Pender Street West, kept it for many years, 
and finally, approximately 1 908, sold it for many thousands of dollars — between $25,000 and 

J.S. Matthews 



Forar home In Abbo'.t. St. lane *"-^ dp i 

Tkt Ff/iiT: F Itclrit l'$M %~trHo<is£ in l/Aiteovvc/l. («i fti <>J*2 '?") 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0054 


CORDOVA ST. Dcninion Day 1390 
First electric railway on Pacific 
coast; second ill Canada. 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0055 

30 July 1931 - The first electric light in Vancouver. The first electric 
railway. h.p. mccraney. 

(This memorandum has been read and approved by Mr. McCraney, October 1931 .) 

Memorandums of conversations with H.P. McCraney, Esquire, of, in 1931, 3350 Cypress Street, 
Vancouver, and vice-president of F.L. Cummins and Co. Ltd., sprayer contractors, 1460 Howe 
Street, Vancouver. Mr. McCraney was one of the first Park Commissioners of Vancouver, 
appointed by the City Council to control Stanley Park when it was opened on 27 September 1 888, 
and was present at the ceremony. He was also an alderman, 1902 to 1905 inclusive, and still 
retains his physical alertness, and is at his office of business every day. 

"The start, or beginning," said Mr. McCraney, "of what is now the B.C. Electric Railway Co. Ltd., 
with interests over half British Columbia, was the Vancouver Electric Light Company, a private 
firm which built the first electric light plant in Vancouver in a building situate on what is now the 
lane between Hastings Street West and Pender Street West, and between Abbott Street and 
Carrall Street, about one hundred feet from Abbott Street, and on the south side of the land. It is 
of brick, with two ventilators, the original one still showing in the roof. It was about fifty feet wide 
and sixty feet deep, and was, at the time it was built, more or less surrounded with swamp on the 
west, but not on the east. It is a two-storey building, and its first use was as a power house; in 
later years it was used as a stable for Messrs. Atkins and Johnston, transfermen; still later as a 
laundry, and now, 1 931 , as a woodworking factory for Messrs. Garrett and Sons." 


(Mr. McCraney was good enough to go down and actually identify the building, and photograph 
as taken by Rowland Towers, and is now in the archives of the Vancouver City Public Library.) 

Mr. McCraney continued, "The plant was started in this way. People were tired of coal oil lamps. 
In April 1887, the City Council had appointed an official lamp lighter; the first train arrived on 23 
May 1 887; on July 1 st we had our first grand Dominion Day celebration, and in September 1 886, 
three men — they were electricians — came up from Portland, Oregon. I forget one name, but the 
other two were Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Giltner. They had electrical equipment for sale, and 
approached local people to form a company, and so give the undertaking local 'colour.' I forget all 
the names of those who formed the company — you can see a lot in the old Council minutes — but 
two were Bob Balfour and Tom Dunn. I was a shareholder, but not a director. The money was 
raised, the plant built, and I had the contract for erecting the pole line. The system did not spread 
far, just around Hastings, Cordova, Cambie, Carrall, Oppenheimer, Powell, Alexander, Cambie 
and Abbott streets, and the street lights were glow worms — thirty-two candle power carbon 
globes or bulbs which did not give much light. Bear in mind, this company was a purely electric 
light company; it had nothing whatever to do with the electric street railway which came later. 

"The three promoters were, I think, in the electric business in Portland, Oregon, and wanted to 
sell electric plant, so they ran it until it was in operation only. The city had given permission for the 
poles to be erected in the streets, and soon after we started putting lights in the houses. 

"At that time, the idea of a street railway had not been thought of. 

"As I have said, the people were tired of coal oil lamps and candles. Three men formed the first 
company, and they put a lot of lights on the street for the city, and then put them in the private 
houses. Jim Carnahan got the poles from the head of False Creek; you could not get any there 
now" (with a smile.) "I had the contract for digging the holes and putting up the poles; they were 
little things as we compare them now. In this I was associated with Mr. Stephenson; in building 
the street railway I was alone. Of the original promoters, Mr. H.T. Ceperley was the last to 
survive. Mr. Ceperley was a sort of representative of Mr. McKee, of whom I will tell you later. Yes, 
it was Mr. Ceperley who afterwards donated the children's playground in Stanley Park." 

The start of the electric street railway. 

Some time early in 1888 a meeting was held to consider the building of a tram service or street 
railway. It was a meeting of local business men, but the meeting was not fruitful of results; it was 
too soon. Then some Americans came to Vancouver, and made a proposal to the City Council, 
and the local people had to get busy. When this local company was formed, Dr. Lefevre, who was 
the "pusher," but also a member of the City Council, introduced a by-law granting to George 
Turner and H.P. McCraney the right to build and operate a street railway for a company to be 
formed. The by-law passed, and an agreement was made covering the route; a crooked route: 
Granville to Hastings, Hastings to Cambie, Cambie to Cordova, Cordova to Carrall, Carrall to 
Powell, and Powell to Westminster Avenue, and down Westminster Avenue to the bridge which 
crossed False Creek, and in addition, the Powell Street extension down to Campbell Avenue. The 
whole distance was about three and one half miles single track. George Turner was one of the 
financial men of Vancouver, a speculator. 

"Subscriptions for shares in the company were taken all over town; we were somewhat careful 
who we took in, and each party took shares at five hundred dollars each. It was at first thought 
possible to build an electric street system, but sufficient funds could not be raised, so the contract 
was let to me (H.P. McCraney) to build a horse drawn system. 

"Horses — not very many — were purchased, and the stables built across the Westminster Avenue 
Bridge at the corner, southwest corner of Dufferin [Front?], I think it was, though it might have 
been Lome [Front?] Street. They were afterwards used by the Gurney Cab Company, and were 
torn down a couple of years ago. The ground was very wet and swampy around the stables, and 
the floor of the building was elevated four or five feet above the muskeg. The entrance was off 
Westminster Avenue, and the stables would be perhaps seventy-five feet long. At that time, the 


street railway and the electric light company were distinctly separate; neither had anything to do 
with the other." 

The street railway. 

"When the street railway was formed, R.P. Cook became president. He was Dr. Lefevre's father- 

"In the spring of 1889, I commenced operation in building the first street railway in Vancouver. 
The first track was laid on Granville Street, a little north of Pacific Street, perhaps a hundred feet 
north, where the slope runs up to a level. We started just at the level so that the horses may have 
an easy start when they pulled. The track was to run from bridge to bridge through the town. At 
that time, the Granville Street vicinity was mostly stumps, although down in Yaletown, a couple of 
hundred yards east or so, there was quite a little settlement. For the history of Yaletown you had 
better see Hugh Gilmour, who was Master Mechanic there; he came from Yale when the shops 
were moved down by the C.P.R. 

"We continued to build for a horse-drawn tram system, and got down as far as the old Vancouver 
Opera House, between Robson and Georgia streets, where the first switch was put in. There was 
another switch on Powell Street, and another on Main Street (Westminster Avenue)." (There was 
another switch on Hastings Street between Homer and Richards.) "However, just at the time the 
track reached the switch at the Opera House" (C.P.R. owned), "a retired lawyer from Omaha, a 
Mr. McKee, whom I have already mentioned as represented by Mr. H.T. Ceperley, arrived on the 
scene, and bought up considerable stock of the company, a control of the interest. They had 
about $30,000, and with his $30,000 making $60,000, it was decided by the directors that there 
was sufficient funds on hand to convert the project into an electric street railway." 

The original electric light company and the street railway amalgamate. 

"It was then decided to take over the original electric light company. The street railway 
shareholders were given two shares for one, and the electric light company shareholders one 
share for one of the old company. You will find it in the minutes. The two companies were 
amalgamated, and I think were called the Vancouver Street Railway Company Limited. 

"When it was decided to electrify the railway, a contract was given to F.S. Osgood of Seattle, who 
was representative of Thompson, Houston Electric Company of Boston, Massachusetts — they 
had a big plant at Lynn, Massachusetts — for the equipment. 

"At this time, a bond issue was created to be used for the purpose of electrifying, and afterwards 
extending the line around 9 th Avenue, and making improvements to the electric light system. 
Among such improvements was the adoption of the arc light for the streets, and the 
disappearance of the 'glowworm' lights. 

"The construction of the track was completed in the fall of 1889, but it was not operated. The 
delay was on account of the slow delivery of the equipment. It was finally opened in May 1 890 
with a bit of celebration. We had four or five street cars, little bits of things; one is in the grounds 
of the Vancouver Exhibition Association at Hastings Park now." (First car ran 26 June 1890; see 
elsewhere in the book.) 

"Vancouver was growing, and growing fast, but the line could not pay. There was not track 
enough, so an arrangement was made to extend the track around 9* Avenue, and form a belt 
line. The Canadian Pacific Railway, through their land agent Mr. Browning, made a grant of lots 
for taking the road around to make a complete circle. I had built the track from bridge to bridge on 
the north side of False Creek; Dan McGillvary got the contract to build it on the south side from 
bridge to bridge. That completed the well-known 'belt line,' and belt line it has remained ever 
since — the principal line of the B.C. Electric Railway. 


"After the 'belt line' was completed, Mr. McKee saw that the thing was not going to pay. While he 
had construction money he could show a profit, but when he had no construction money — you 
can call it what you like — it could not be made to pay; not on account of bad management, but 
because it was ahead of its time. The population was not big enough. So Mr. McKee had a 
statement drawn up, etc., etc., and traded his interest to J.W. Home for Vancouver real estate. 
He immediately took a boat for the Orient, and as far as is known has never been seen in 
Vancouver since. 

"The railway to New Westminster was built the same year as the extension was made to 
complete the 'belt line.' They were an entirely separate company, the New Westminster and 
Vancouver Street Railway." (See yesterday's Vancouver Daily Sun, "Forty Years Ago," July 

"J.W. Home sold his interest to the New Westminster and Vancouver Street Railway Company. It 
is presumed they had little money, and that he was anxious to get rid of his interests, so they 
gave and he accepted notes. You had better see Mr. Burdis, who was Mayor Oppenheimer's 
private secretary, about the statement J.W. Home presented to the New Westminster and 
Vancouver Street Railway Company. Anyway, the thing hung fire; they refused to pay the notes. 
J.W. Home stayed at the Leland Annex. He and Carter-Cotton were the first two members for 
Vancouver. Frank Barnard tried to form a local company, but I believe he failed; see Mr. Burdis 
and also Judge J.A. Forin — he will tell you about the Home statement, etc. The bondholders held 
an interest of $300,000. They offered the road and all assets to the City of Vancouver for, I think 
the sum was $275,000. It was put up to the City Council, who submitted the proposal by by-law to 
the people, who turned it down. They afterwards came to the City and asked them to guarantee 
their bonds. The City Council turned that proposal down too. 

"Then someone went to the Old Country. I know Barnard went, and got in touch with Home- 
Payne, perhaps it was — I think it was — Farrell, father of Gordon Farrell, and I think Frank Barnard 
went with him. 

"Of course, Vancouver was growing like a weed. They say Home-Payne made a success of the 
railway and light. It was not Home-Payne; it was the citizens of Vancouver who made a success 
of it. Their numbers were growing. 

"David Oppenheimer was 'frozen out.' He had put so much money in it he was 'broke,' but I think 
afterwards they gave him enough money to pay his debts. Anyway, they say David died happy 
because his debts were paid. 

"They say it cost Home $40,000 to be elected as one of the first two members of the B.C. 
legislature. Carter-Cotton got about 1 1 00 votes, and I think Home got about 586." 

J.S. Matthews 


First street car track. 1889 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0056 

31 July 1931 -Telephone companies. 

According to Mr. W.H. Gallagher, the first telephone in Vancouver was burned in the Great Fire, 
and the news sent to Westminster by phone from George Black's, Hastings, to which point an 
extension had been made. 

"Dr. Lefevre reorganised the first telephone company," said Mr. H.P. McCraney. "Joe Armstrong 
and his crowd controlled it at first. Dr. Lefevre practically 'put a gun' to Joe's head, and told him 
he would organise another company if he was not given control." 

Query: Was that the New Westminster and Burrard Inlet Telephone Company? 

"Yes, that would be the one. The original line was built from New Westminster to Port Moody to 
keep in touch with the Onderdonk construction of the C.P.R." 

31 July 1931 - Central Park, rifle ranges. Richmond Rifle Range. 

It was at the suggestion of Captain T.O. Townley, then of New Westminster (Captain, 2 July 
1890) but afterwards Mayor of Vancouver (1901), that a strip of land on the west side of Central 
Park was set aside as a rifle range. The old rifle range which had served New Westminster was 
across the river at South Westminster and was hard to get at; there was no bridge then, and 
those of the Vancouver Rifle Association, organised 1 889, used a rifle range of a sort at 
Moodyville, across the flats. (See Rules and Regulations, Vancouver Rifle Association, in 

By establishing a rifle range at a central location such as Central Park, one of these two ranges 
could be abolished; and besides, now that the electric street car, the interurban line, was running, 
it would be far more convenient to go by street car, take less time, and be more convenient than a 
long circuitous journey across water, followed by a considerable walk. 


The Central Park Rifle Range was constructed about 1893 (see full details in Military Section, 
Vancouver City Museum, letters, etc.) and was last used in September or October 1904 when 
rifle shooting ceased on account of the growth of the district, and the fact that complaints were 
being received of flying bullets being a danger. Also, it was getting too small; there were six 
targets only. 

The range was six hundred yards long, cut in the forest. It ran east and west, targets in the east, 
and paralleled a road which ran in the same direction on its southern side. To reach it, riflemen 
got off the Central Park interurban car, struck straight into the forest, followed a forest track a foot 
or so wide, and five minutes walk, came upon the 600 fire point, close by a small one-room shed. 
The firing points — 200, 500 and 600 yards — were all elevated, mounds of earth between logs. 
There is a photograph of one firing point in the City Museum. It shows Captain J. Duff Stuart, now 
Brigadier General in command of one "firing party," and Sergeant W.W. Foster, now Colonel, as 
sergeant of another "firing party," commanded by Captain J. Reynolds Tite, both parties in artillery 
uniform, that of the 5 th Regiment Canadian Garrison Artillery, Vancouver. 

The British Columbia Rifle Association held their annual prize meeting at Central Park Rifle 
Range in 1896, 1898 and 1900. Riflemen came from all parts of B.C., and from H.M. warships. 

The Central Park Rifle Range was last used in 1904. After shooting on it all year, the first 
matches on the Richmond Rifle Range, and the last for that year on any range, were held at 
Richmond on Thanksgiving Day, 1 904. The event of the shoot was the new "Perry Trophy" 
presented by Lieutenant Colonel J.C. Whyte, commanding the 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R., to 
commemorate the winning of the King's Prize in 1904 by Private S.J. Perry, (G.M.) 

One of the trials of the Central Park Range was, (1 ) the smoke from fires in summer, and the fact 
that more than once the riflemen on their way to shoot had to pass through more or less 
dangerous fire — it was most inconvenient to have to dash through fire on the trail — and (2) that 
the shadows cast by the trees which grew densely and to great height on both sides of the range 
precluded proper sighting of the rifle sights, cast shadows on the targets, etc. It was a most 
unsatisfactory range, but served a good purpose for the time being. 

31 July 1931 - Stanley Park. 

"Stanley Park," said Mr. H.P. McCraney, one of the first Park Commissioners, "was opened on 
the 27 th September. A night or so before the park was opened, the City Council appointed the first 
Park Commissioners; they were appointed, not elected, three of them R.G. Tatlow, A.G. 
Ferguson, and myself. 

"The City Council asked Sir Donald A. Smith, afterwards Lord Strathcona, to name the park. Sir 
Donald, feeling that the matter was of more than local importance, asked the Governor-General, 
Lord Stanley of Preston, if he may name it 'Stanley Park,' to which request the Governor-General 
acceded. The name was announced for the first time at the opening ceremonies. 

"The ceremonial procession passed through the city, and proceeded to the Stanley Park Landing 
of the Capilano water pipes, where a temporary platform had been erected. The Honourable John 
Robson, provincial secretary, Major Grant of Victoria, Mayor Oppenheimer of Vancouver, Mr. 
Harry Abbott, general superintendent of the C.P.R., aldermen Alexander, Couth, Dougall (of the 
Dougall House), Humphries, and Oppenheimer were there, and the three park commissioners. 

"Mayor Oppenheimer made a speech, and at the conclusion handed Alderman Alexander, who 
was also a Park Commissioner, a copy of the by-law creating the park board. 

"Lord Stanley was present" (This is incorrect- JSM.), "and I think his son, the present Earl of 

Note: a photo of the site where the opening took place is in the Archives. 



\i , .1. mix titi: I'm en > ( < > 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0057 

"SASTO*)."" and "Hm Maple Ttbb 
Momma nt* , 1931 

&n*H V* J Wil„ Sr T™T«K r ! ■' 

"&A5n>WN" [NOM 
Item # EarlyVan_v1_0058 



5 August 1931 - Construction of street railway in Vancouver. 

Two very early photographs of street railway construction were today given me by Mr. H.P. 
McCraney, who built the first street railway. Construction was started, in the spring of 1889, about 
halfway between Pacific Street and Drake Street on Granville. (See Mr. McCraney's long 
narrative elsewhere.) 

The first photograph is the "Y" at the junction of Westminster Avenue and Powell Street, and 
shows a group of thirteen men and a boy at the "Y," three telephone posts with single cross arm 
on left of street, and one man with his foot on a barrel. The scene beyond is the site now 
occupied by the Canadian National Dock, now being erected after being destroyed by fire some 
months ago within a few days after being first completed. 

The second photograph is the switch, or passing track, on Powell Street, somewhere near 
Jackson Avenue. The terminus in the distance, trees beyond, is presumed to be where Campbell 
Avenue crosses Powell Street. The bridge is presumed to be a counterpart of the present day 
Hastings Street viaduct, but on Powell Street. This photo shows, on the right, two houses of one 
storey with verandahs, followed by a white house of two storeys without a verandah, a small dark 
house further on, and others until the trees are reached. On the left, a two-storey house with bay 
window, and in the centre, a group of approximately ten men laying down the tracks, a switch, 
and a small barrel in centre foreground. 

It is assumed that, as construction was started at the Pacific Street terminus, that this photograph 
was taken in the fall of 1 889, and it establishes the fact that at this time, the forest was growing 
east of Campbell Avenue. 

The ties, said McCraney, were six by eight inches, laid crosswise, and on these stringers four by 
twelve inches were laid lengthwise on which the rails were laid, leaving a clearance of eight 
inches, four on each side of the rail, and on the innermost, planks were nailed to permit wagons 
to cross tracks with ease. See photo of single track, Granville Street from Hotel Vancouver, No. 

5 August 1 931 - The famous Maple Tree. Carrall Street. 

"What became of the Maple Tree? Why, the fire destroyed it," was the answer Mr. H.P. McCraney 
gave to that query. "It was standing right in the path of the fire." (1 3 June 1 886.) 

The famous Maple Tree on the west side of Carrall Street, near the corner of Water Street and 
within a few feet of where now stands the monument to mark its place. It must have been 
standing in 1 863 at the time Corporal Turner and his party of Royal Engineers surveyed the 
townsite, and also in 1870, the year the townsite of Granville was surveyed, according to the 
Trutch map of that year, and which shows a large building in the centre of Carrall Street, to the 
east of the old tree. In 1 870 there were nine buildings in Granville, arranged along the edge of the 
crescent-shaped shore, now Water Street, between Abbott and Carrall streets. The most easterly 
was this large building, then came the customs house and jail; between the former and the two 
latter stood the Maple Tree, and no doubt was, at a very early date, much esteemed for its shade 
and beauty, possibly the cattle of the pioneers — perhaps it was there that the milch cows chewed 
their cud in the cool of the summer's evening. 

The name of Vancouver, it is said, was chosen beneath this tree, yet it should be pointed out that 
the post office was "Granville" until the city was incorporated; that a publication, published in 
Olympia, Washington in 1884 mentions "Vancouver on Coal Harbour," and that L.A. Hamilton's 
map of 1885 is of the townsite of "Vancouver." 

The subject requires more minute investigation. 



AI.'OTffiR * imPORARr' CIiV : 'AI.L" 
His Worship Mayor H.A.HacLEAN^ 
and the first City Council at • 
foot of Carrall 5t (after thai 
Cre&t Fira) 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0059 

5 August 1 931 - City Halls. 

The new City Hall on Powell Street appears to have been first used for Council meetings on 8 
November 1 886, about five months after the fire; see minutes of first Council. It was built by 
Sentell Brothers, and the story goes that civic authorities were debarred from entrance until they 
had paid for it. 

In the files of the old Vancouver News, an early newspaper, preserved at the University of B.C., 
there is a notice as follows: 


The Mayor's office has been removed from Abbott Street to the City Hall on 
Powell Street, office hours 10-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. 

M.A. McLean 


March 1 st 1887. 

Jas. A. Smith, now chief moving picture censor, but who came here in April 1888, tells that a man 
named Samson, I think "Dick," was architect of the City Hall on Westminster Avenue, first known 
as the Market Hall, and afterwards, when the city offices were moved to the Holden Building on 
Hastings Street, used as part of the Public Library (reading room, etc.) 



(Should be Lawson or Dawson?) 

City Council. 

Alderman Harry Hemlow, now resident in Vancouver, and Alderman LA. Hamilton, a non- 
resident, are now, in 1 931 , the only two remaining councillors living who were members of the 
first Council. The famous tent picture of the City Hall and Council, taken immediately after the 
Great Fire, does not show Alderman Harry Hemlow — he was absent at the time. 

8 August 1931 - Early water works. Hastings Sawmill. 

Apart from wells and creeks, the earliest water works system in Vancouver was the old Hastings 
Mill flume from Trout Lake, on Lakewood Drive, Grandview, now a civic park and bathing pool. 

In conversation with Mr. Frame, for many years storekeeper of the Hastings Sawmill Store, he 
said to me, "Oh, yes, they got their water from Trout Lake, by an open flume; when they sold the 
property they kept the lake." 

The remark is interesting, and of value in tracing the water system of Vancouver. Settlements of 
all our early homes, camps, etc., were governed by water — wells, springs, creeks — and this lake 
must have had some influence in the location of the Hastings Sawmill. The Hastings Sawmill had 
very extensive timber rights about Vancouver. (On 13 October 1871, J.A. Raymur, Manager, 
Hastings Sawmill, gives permission to one Robert Preston to preempt the land about Kitsilano 
Beach, "provided he does not cut or destroy any of the timber thereon." See further, 20 
November, waterworks, conversation Mr. T. Sanderson.) 

Mr. Frame's attention being drawn to a hooked white streak on the photograph of Gastown, 
"Before the Fire," about one inch from the left of the picture, he said, "I think that was a skid road 
down Mount Pleasant, perhaps a little to the left of the present Main Street. It will be interesting to 
discover whether or not this is not the skid road which, perhaps, developed into Kingsway; if it 
was part of the 'new road' from Westminster." 

Kitsilano, preemption. 

The permission to preempt Kitsilano Beach is to be found in the Greer papers, The Fight for 
Kitsilano Beach, in the City Museum. (Copy only.) 

August 1931 - Bus lines. Kitsilano Beach. Macdonald Street. Broadway. 

The first north and south transportation to Kitsilano Beach commenced on 1 July 1931 , when, as 
a result of representations made by the Kitsilano Ratepayers Association (C.H. Fraser, 
president), the B.C. Electric Railway Company started a motor bus, connecting with the 
Kerrisdale bus to Broadway, beginning each week day at noon, on Sundays at 10 a.m., and 
running every twenty minutes, city fare with transfers from connecting and to connecting lines. It 
was very poorly patronised; two or three passengers, sometimes more, nearly all travelling on 
transfer, and so the venture was very unprofitable. The route: Cornwall Street, Point Grey Road, 
Macdonald Street, and on to Kerrisdale. 

The increasing popularity of Kitsilano Beach reached a zenith with the opening, about 1 5 August 
1931, of the largest swimming pool in North America, a tremendous crowd turning out for the 
opening ceremony. This long-neglected beach seems this year to have at last supplanted English 
Bay as the most frequented beach in Western Canada. During the year, also, two blocks 
bounded by Cornwall, Yew, Arbutus streets and the car tracks, has been partially filled in 
preparatory to conversion into a park, the sward laid in 1930, about five acres, west of Arbutus 
between Creelman and Whyte, and on the two blocks north of Ogden Street, known as Haddon 


Park — after Mr. Harvey Haddon by whom it was presented at a cost of $5,000, plus $5,000 for 
clearing — are both covered with a smooth green grass for the first time, and prove most popular. 

The building of the Burrard Street Bridge is proceeding rapidly, and will be open for traffic in 1932; 
then again, efforts are being made to secure for park purposes that portion of the Indian Reserve 
west of the bridge; another small portion of two acres at the southern end of the bridge and in the 
Indian Reserve, now wild growth, is being secured for an ornamental approach to the bridge. 

The long dormant area behind Kitsilano Beach and the beach itself is at last fulfilling the 
prophesies of its pioneer residents: that it would become the best-known beach in Western 
Canada. They have waited long. 


T-ki e I lh.c s s A o <u (-?, - Q-nctmnllz t<> H<i$h'n.g$ S aw m J.7., 

w..i, Mtumi: I'lUKtt west, 

A bo»it foot o f- **s^ft¥< *U*lT? y ^ <l Q r e h Yi ; k ' Smp 

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Item # EarlyVan_v1_0060 

10 August 1931 -Saint James Church. Father Clinton. 

Why is it that, in this photograph (of "Before the Fire"), this little church is shown on the shore? 
What church is it? The porch and gate appear facing the shore? 

"That is the first St. James Church," replied Mr. Hugh E. Campbell, a member of Vancouver's first 
fire brigade. "When it was built, it was built to face the shore. I think Father Clinton lived in the 
back, end nearest the water, of it." 

The little church is barely discernible in the old photograph of Vancouver, "Before the Fire." It 
stood on the shore, between water and the road which ran from Gastown to Hastings Mill 


(Hastings Road). It has a little picket fence around it, a dark porch, a belfry; and is, in the photo, 
about three inches to the right of a large tree on the shore. It was entered from Hastings Road. 

Its exact location has not been determined, but would be about the foot of Main Street lane. 

10 August 1931 -The Great Fire of 1886. Gastown. Douglas Road. 

Mr. Hugh E. Campbell, now of 2848 Birch Street, Fairview, was in Vancouver "before the fire," 
and was for many years identified with the fire brigade. Mrs. Campbell is a pioneer of Sea Island, 
and her narration of her early days is interesting. (See elsewhere.) 

"I was in the Sunnyside Hotel, at the northwest corner of Water and Carrall Street, when the fire 
broke out. I heard shouts of 'fire, fire,' and ran out into the alley" (Trounce Alley) "and put a horse 
in one of those 'one-horse' butcher carts we used in those days, and drove up to E.S. Scoullar's" 
(see Captain Scoullar and our first Dominion Day celebration) "who had his hardware and sheet 
metal store just about where Edgett's is now on Water Street (1 55 Water Street), about half way 
between Abbott and Cambie Street, on the south side. I put six or seven boxes of dynamite in the 
cart, and drove off, and ended by putting it on the Hastings Mill wharf, and then came back, but I 
got back a very short way. Mrs. Alexander said not to put the dynamite there, but I did it; I told her 
that they could throw it overboard if it became necessary to do so." (Note: which they did, and it 
floated about the harbour for some days.) "Some other heavy wagons started to go down to 
Scoullar's, but they got nothing. 

"The fire started between Homer and Granville, perhaps Hamilton and Granville streets, along 
about Hastings Street. The C.P.R. were clearing the land, and the fire got away from them. There 
were 'a hundred' fires burning; people were clearing the land. 

"The fire took the direction of Pender, Dupont streets, and all north of those streets, and ran as far 
as perhaps Prior Street. It missed the Royal City Planing Mills. 

Query: What stopped it? 

"The wind went down. To give you an idea of the strength of the wind, the hulk Robert Ker was 
anchored up by Deadman's Island, and she dragged her anchor and drifted down to the Hastings 
Sawmill. Then there was a big tree on the shore about the foot of Columbia Street, between 
Father Clinton's church and the Maple Tree; the wind blew that down, and it fell across the road 
from Gastown to the Mill. You can imagine the gale that blew. 

"I spent the rest of the day helping people down Douglas Road, about as far as the present sugar 

Mr. Campbell then drew a sketch of Gastown before the fire. 

Provincial gaol. 

Mr. Campbell continued. "The first provincial gaol was on the site of the old No. 1 Fire Hall, and 
was burned down in the fire of 1886. After the fire, No. 1 Hall was built on the south side of Water 
Street, about fifty feet from Carrall Street, and next to the Alhambra Hotel, built in 1887. When the 
city moved the site of the No. 1 Hall to the present site at the corner of Gore Avenue and Cordova 
Street, they tried to sell the site, but found they did not own it — it belonged to the provincial 

Water tanks. 

"The water tank at the corner of Dunsmuir and Granville Street, for use in fighting fire, was a huge 
affair. It was only ten feet deep, about, but it was at least seventy-five feet long and thirty feet 
wide, and held a tremendous lot of water." 


GRANVILLE ST at Dunemuir 1389-1890 
Pumping from water tank before 
water system installed. 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0061 

The first fire engine. The water tanks. 

"The tanks from which that fire engine is pumping water stood at the corner of Dunsmuir and 
Granville Street, east side," said Mr. W.F. Findlay of the Vancouver Pioneers Association, and a 
nephew of Lewis Carter of the Carter House. "I don't know much about that tank; I know more 
about the one on Carrall Street, near the old Maple Tree. The tank by the Maple Tree was 
wooden roofed and sided, and sunk in the ground. It was not planked at the bottom, for the 
contractor found after digging the hole that the water seeped in sufficiently to keep the tank part 
full of water. The tank held about 10,000 or 12,000 gallons. 


"Both these tanks were used to have a supply of water on hand in case of fire, as the water 
pressure was, in the early days, very poor." 

Note: the seepage mentioned would be natural when the nature of the ground under Carrall 
Street is considered, and the fact that, ten or twelve feet down, perhaps less, there is a strata of 
firm hard shale.) 

"Pressure, pressure," ejaculated Mr. J.A. Mateer when the above narrative was read to him, 
"pressure, there was no pressure. There was no water other than in those tanks. Vancouver had 
no water supply other than wells." 


"And ten feet below high tide."-W.F. Findlay, April 1932 

"We are referring to different dates. There was at first only one pipe, a twelve inch, across 
the First Narrows. He is referring to an earlier day, before the water was installed." - W.F. 
Findlay, 12 April 1932 

Granville Street in 188-. Dunsmuir Street in 188-. The first fire engine. 

A photo of an early fire engine pumping water, and in the distance, on the left, a building with a 
large sign, "RAND BROS, REAL ESTATE," was shown to Mr. W.F. Findlay. 

"That," he said, "is a test of the first fire engine owned by the City of Vancouver, and was brought 
here shortly after the Great Fire of 1886. The site is Granville Street at Dunsmuir; the crossing of 
Dunsmuir Street can be seen by the planks laid long ways for a walk over the crossing. The 
heavy, large hose is pumping water from the tank. 

"The engine was christened by Mrs. Carlisle, wife of the fire chief, J.H. Carlisle. The 'process' of 
christening it was for all hands to get around it, lift it in the air, while Mrs. Carlisle broke a bottle 
over it, and called it the "M.A. MacLean," in honour of the first Mayor of Vancouver. 

"What became of the engine afterwards I do not know, but I seem to recall it in use twenty-five 
years ago. It was drawn by horses, I rather imagine two horses, though the later engines, before 
the motor engines came in, had three horses, and fine show, very spectacular to witness, they 
made as they galloped along. They were beautifully kept, fine specimens of horseflesh, and 
shone in their polished brass mounted harness. The old engine burned coal; you can see the 
poker on the ground, and also an empty coal sack. The top of the boiler and other fittings were 
burnished nickel, and shone brilliantly, as you can see by the reflections of the surrounding 
buildings shown in them. 

"The site of the building 'RAND BROS, REAL ESTATE' is on Granville Street, about midway 
between Dunsmuir and Pender Street, on the west side. I think it was torn down afterwards to 
build a taller building. 

"At the same time that the engine came, I think we got 2,500 feet of hose also." 


*Mo uc S22f- e&urt&t&J/y y-eaw 

fsuzc Al^C/o '/fating J7 h*-&i. \hJ&i*sC0£J 
l£tMke < l / a+ ^a/^ Mud ffctc&gy 

#7c ^y^a^ce^ &U&4 a~e^<n>^ tig- 

-=— : r 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0062 


NOTE ADDED LATER: 26 August 1939 

Who in 1 889, exactly fifty years ago — when the question of the day was how to cross the 
North Arm (See Kidd's History of Lulu Island); was one [of] intense interest — hoped, or 
expected that the day would ever come, at least within half a century, when a huge 
circus, "Ringling's" with elephants and lions and clowns and hundreds of performers and 
attendants, who would entertain on Grauer's Field across the river on Sea Island 
(adjoining the bridge) a multitude who arrived in horseless carriages so numerous as to 
create a problem in traffic. JSM 

Saturday evening, 26 August 1939. 

What an age of wonders to have lived in. JSM 

1 August 1 931 - Airport. Granville Street South. Eburne. 

"I came to British Columbia in October 1889," said Mrs. H.E. Campbell, now of 2848 Birch Street, 
"coming on the first 'Tourist' car the Canadian Pacific Railway operated to the west. I got off at 
New Westminster and came down the river to Eburne. There were no bridges over the river at 
Eburne then; we used to cross over in boats, or on a scow to a little wharf where there was a 
store, the only one, 'run' by a Mr. Eburne. At that time there were a few shacks around, but the 
store was the main building. It was not altogether like coming to a strange place, for I knew Mr. 
McLeod, Mr. Sandy McLeod. On my arrival, Mr. Sears called for three cheers to welcome 
'another woman for British Columbia.' Some time afterwards, I remember someone calling 
excitedly, 'Oh, come look, come look.' We all rushed to the window or door. The 'sight' we were 
urged to see was a woman crossing a field. I don't know who she was; it might have been Mrs. 
Nicol; they sold their place for seventy thousand dollars recently, for the new airport. Our water? 
Oh, we got that out of tanks; the river water was too salty. 

"We went over to Vancouver once in a while, driving up Granville Street, as it is now called, but 
then it was just a slit in the forest, a solid wall of trees on both sides from Eburne to False Creek, 
with timber so tall you had to look straight up to see the sky. We went over to Vancouver on the 
first day of July 1 890, and the mud on Granville Street was up to the hubs. The sun could not get 
in to dry the road — the trees were too tall. The road was no wider than a wagon, and, every half 
mile or so, there was a little space, somewhat wider, where the wagons could pass. 

"When I arrived in October, I weighed 128 pounds, but in six months, the fresh air and the 
freshness of everything so improved me that I weighed 1 53 pounds. There was a lot of mud 
around — there were no dykes. When we went to Vancouver, we went up a short way to a little 
wharf, but the mud was deep, and I thought it was the funniest thing when Mrs. McLeod called 
out, 'let Bill pack you.' They called it 'packing.' So the man picked me up and carried me under his 
arm to keep me out of the mud. Another man was carrying Mrs. McLeod. 

"My sisters came in 1 890. They opened a dress making shop, Miss Donnelly's, in the Dunn and 
Miller Block on Cordova Street, and they were considered very clever designers. 

"The accident to the party of sleighers? Oh, yes, that happened just a short way up Granville 
Street from Eburne, about the Magee Road. A tree fell as a party of merrymakers was passing; it 
killed one of them." 


NOTE ADDED LATER: September 1933 -This remarkable and tragic misadventure occurred, 
according to Miss E.J. Rowling, "about a quarter mile east of what is now the corner of Marine 
Drive and Argyle Street. It took place December 26, 1889. Four were killed, two escaped." See 
H.S. Rowling; see Miss E.J. Rowling. 



7l*$l*ITMRD 5IBKIPH6 AndK'tj'iartoIwoim PfiEMs 

BURBMU) STREET BnlJKi eroano 1,1931 , 
ola Indian village. Last ragged 
survivor of great forest (right) 

C(M( STftTSANCR roBURRARO STBfilPftE flu» Pt.'tJI 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0063 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0064 

12 August 1931 -The Indian Reserve. Kitsilano. Burrard Street Bridge. 
Cornwall Street. Cedar Street. Big trees. 

A tall, ragged remnant of a forest monarch, a black monument, hollow and jagged, of a bygone 
day, stood before us today as we watched the noisy steam shovel, huge grunting, groaning 
leviathan, ripping up earth, stones, bushes and rubbish, as it tore its way out of what has been for 
so many years a primeval oasis in the centre of a densely populated city. They are making the 
approach from Cedar Street to the new Burrard Street Bridge; north of First Avenue West is the 
Indian Reserve, once a forest, but now very largely covered — where not utilised already for 
industries — with small tress, salmonberries, mountain ash, willows, maples and wild cherries. 

The old black stump, a great sliver reaching perhaps seventy-five or a hundred feet into the sky, 
is a memorial of the once great forest which covered Vancouver; the only remaining, and last, 
relic within the old, the first city limits; sole survivor of the silent vacuum of our unknown past. 

At the corner of Cedar Street and First Avenue West, and also at the corner of Cornwall and 
Chestnut, Mr. Rowland Towers, the photographer of Kerrisdale, he who photographed the 
internment of the German fleet (internment, not surrender — four ships a day), took photographs 
each way, four in all. On Cornwall at Chestnut Street, two urchins trundled a motorcar tire in the 
middle of the street; a few more months and the whirl of heavy, speeding traffic will sweep 
dashingly over that spot. Progress must be denied no longer. 

Our old Indian friends, their canoes, their baskets, the pandemonium of the potlatch, even the 
silence of the old cemetery, all have gone. No longer will the young lads of Kitsilano hunt coons, 


play Indian, climb for crow eggs in the old Reserve; the kok-kok of the cock pheasant has already 

Soon they will chop down the black, old fragment, the last of many thousands of forest monarchs 
out of whose dark and mighty depths grew this magic city. 



30 December 1 931 . I notice it has gone. JSM 

12 August 1931 -Hollyburn. West Vancouver. "Navvy Jack's. "School. 
Post Office. The first holly trees. Mr. and Mrs. John Lawson. 

Paid a visit to Mr. and Mrs. John Lawson, now resident at 22 nd and Bellevue Avenue, West 

When I arrived before 9 a.m., he was busily at work at the Post Office, now on corner of Marine 
Drive and 17 th Street, and he informed me that, as was his practice, he had been on duty since 
before 6 a.m.; not a minor achievement for a man over 71 . He was the first post master at 
Hollyburn, and so continues to this day. Mr. Lawson was born on 1 5 April 1 860. He received me 
with marked courtesy. 

I asked Mr. Lawson how he ever came to settle on that part of the shore of Burrard Inlet, now 
known as West Vancouver, etc., etc., but at that time quite unnamed saved for the sobriquet 
"Navvy Jack's," sometimes "Navvy Jack's place," and far beyond, another named point "Skunk 
Cove," now Caulfields. Mr. Lawson then related that he had joined the Canadian Pacific Railway 
in 1887, served first as brakeman, then conductor, and after twenty years service had retired. At 
that time, 1905, he was living at 1023 Pacific Street in the city, a muddy road not long opened up 
from Burrard Street West, and a chance remark of his brother-in-law (Mrs. Lawson's brother) one 
day, "I wonder what's across on that shore from Prospect Point?" brought the answer from Mr. 
Lawson, "I've been wondering that myself." 

So the next morning, both got up early, got a boat, and started to cross. They knew nothing of the 
swift currents of the First Narrows, but were driven by them outside the Narrows in the general 
direction of the north shore, finally landed and took to the woods. They found a logging trail which 
had been graded for the Moodyville Logging Railway, but it had never been finished — no rails had 
been laid, although the ties lay all around, and there were half a dozen flat cars in the bushes. It 
looked as though they had been there some years. The whole place was badly overgrown. "We 
struck out," said Mr. Lawson, "up the trail, and soon came to the Old Keith Road, equally badly 
overgrown. It had been built about 1 890 or 1 891 . 

"We continued along the old road until we reached about here" ("here" meaning the corner of 17 th 
Street and Marine Drive), "when we came to a fence, an old one, and my brother-in-law or I 
remarked, 'Here, what's this?' We investigated, and found Navvy Jack's house. We went down to 
the shore." 

What was Navvy Jack's proper name? I asked. 

"John Thomas. Navvy Jack had gone up to Barkerville, and died suddenly. We afterwards found 
that J.C. Keith held the property. He had got it through lending two thousand dollars to Navvy 
Jack, and finally it fell into his hands. Navvy Jack married an Indian woman, and his daughter, 
Mrs. Williams, a woman of able mind, is living on the Indian Reserve now. You must see her. 

"I felt when I saw this place that I had never seen a spot on this earth that I would so well like to 
make my home," said Mr. Lawson, with feeling emphasis, and then, as we subsequently walked 
over the actual location of his early efforts, and his recollections passed back of the years to the 


early simplicity of his first home, he remarked with emotion, "It certainly was a beautiful place 
twenty years ago." 

Today the original "Hollyburn" is somewhat the worse for wear, the fences down, the tennis court 
a patchwork of dried grass and dust holes in which children play with sand, a plentiful scattering 
of cigarette boxes, empty, lunch papers, and other debris of picnics. 

Navvy Jack's house. 

Mr. Lawson then invited me to accompany him to view the original site of the house. We went 
down 17 th Street to Argyll Street, then a little west along a narrow macadam road perhaps fifty 
yards, until we stood between a house numbered 1768 Argyll Street, and the old, now disused, 
Pacific Great Eastern Railway tracks. Here, among the cherry and walnut trees, was a clear 
space, quite small, the original site of the house that Navvy Jack built. It has been moved slightly 
to the west, and a little nearer the shore, and is now occupied by a Mrs. Hookham. It has been 
much altered, both inside and out, but much of the original remains, and in places the old-time 
square-cut nails show up in the lumber. The house has been raised to form a basement; the front 
has now stucco-covered posts. The interior still shows the narrow, perhaps three-inch, V-jointed 
lining, with a very deep V, and it is the old-time one inch, not the so-called one inch — actually 
three-quarters — of modern dimensions. The whole is now quite remodelled, and not recognisable 
from a photo of the first Navvy Jack's. The little creek runs to the east side of the house; formerly, 
it was on the west. 

It is evident that one of the reasons which governed Navvy Jack in the location of his first shack 
was this creek; the old story of all our early houses, shacks, camps, etc., they were all built near 
water — springs or creeks. 

"This is Navvy Jack's actual house, the one in which he lived; one can hardly say worked, for he 
left most of that to his women. Perhaps he did have a sort of shack prior to this house; I don't 
know," said Mr. Lawson. 

Mr. Lawson afterwards showed me a photograph of the house. "It is identically the same here as 
it was when I first saw it, save for the addition of the two chimneys and the gable roof in front, 
which I added." The picture shows it to be about twenty feet wide with door in centre, and two 
large windows of four panes each, one on each side of the door. Four turned and ornamented 
verandah posts with peculiar batten and board roof, slightly concave, to verandah. The house 
roof is shingle, and the whole of one half, including the gable end, faces the shore. The two 
chimneys, one at each end of the house, pass through the ridge. Before the house stands the two 
famous holly trees, one partly hidden behind an old-style motor car; the occasion is that of the 
wedding of their eldest daughter about 1 91 0, the first "church" wedding in West Vancouver. 
Otherwise, it is exactly as Navvy Jack left it. 

Note: refer to "Jim" Smith's (J.A. Smith) story of the rooster crowing one 24 th May (Queen's 
Birthday) and guiding a shipload of excursion from Victoria through the fog to the Narrows, 1888 
or 1890. 

12 August 1931 - Hollyburn and the famous holly trees. 

The photo shows two small holly trees in front of the house. As they grew too large, they were 
subsequently removed, and are now on the west side of 1 7 th Street, near the shore and picnic 
ground. Representations since made to the Reeve of West Vancouver have secured a promise 
that these trees will be protected from vandals, and a promise that he hopes to have them 
removed to the front of the Municipal Hall when additions are made to that structure. It is from 
these two holly trees that Hollyburn takes most of its name. 

"I was working for the C.P.R. and one day in 1907 I took two holly trees, which were growing in 
my garden at 1023 Pacific Street, over to our new estate, and planted them. On my trips back 
and forth on the trains, I used to lie awake in my berth in the caboose trying to think of a suitable 


name for the place. I tried many, until finally one night I thought of 'burn' which meant brook or 
creek. I added 'holly,' and that is how it was; I invented the word," added Mr. Lawson, and 
continued. "The walnut trees were about ten years old when we came here; that would make 
them 35 years old now, but the cherry trees are at least fifty years old. This property was 
preempted about 1 872," and I remarked to him that that was about the time many preemptions 
were made; Greer's Beach (Kitsilano) was preempted, first in 1 871 , then in 1 873. The fruit trees 
show, leafless, in the photo. 

The first post office. 

The first post office — Mr. Lawson being the postmaster — was in a small room, probably ten feet 
by ten feet at the southeast angle of the house. 

Tame deer. 

"Our first tame deer was a buck, and became so very tame that it entered the house," related Mr. 
Lawson. "One Christmas, Mrs. Lawson placed the Christmas pudding on the table, and while her 
back was momentarily turned, the deer ate the pudding on the table, and then jumped out of an 
open window. The second deer was secured when, being chased by some strange dog, it ran 
into the sea, and two men, passing in a boat, secured it and were about to cut its throat when 
Mrs. Lawson shouted to them to bring it in alive. It was a doe. I gave them $10 for it. It was quite 
young. Soon afterwards, two men caught another one in the water; it was 'all in,' exhausted. I 
bought it, took it to the stable in a wheelbarrow, rubbed it and rubbed it, and finally it got its 
strength back. Later, it had two little fawns; that made five deer in all, so we built a little yard, then 
a larger one, and took in part of the creek. All these deer were caught close to the house." 

Mr. Lawson was very fond of horses and had some splendid driving and riding specimens. Some 
of them appear in a picture given me of his farm on the shore. He had some splendid specimens 
of black Irish cattle. 

The beauty of this Hollyburn forest retreat twenty or more years ago, its silence, its primeval 
verdure, its mountains and its sea, must indeed have been enchanting. No wonder Mr. Lawson 
looked back in fond recollection, and not without regret of its passing. The little old house framed 
in the green of cherry and walnut trees, the smooth lawn of the tennis court, the tiny creek rippling 
by, cold and clear, the boulder-strewn shore lapped by the waters of English Bay, the distant 
forest of Stanley Park, the noble bluff of Prospect Point, the verdant background of forest 
stretching away to the mountain top, the sunshine and the silence, the black cattle in the pasture, 
and the tame deer in the pen — a charming place of happy memory. 


The remains of the old government wharf at the foot of 1 7 th Street can still be seen, a narrow 
elevation of gravel between logs which originally supported it — the same gravel as has given its 
name to a certain quality commonly used in making concrete. The original "Navvy Jack" (gravel) 
came from an excavation on the shore just east of the old wharf, a surface pit from which 
Vancouver got its first gravel for the concrete of its buildings, and which gave its name, or its 
owner's name, to a building material now universally known throughout British Columbia as 
"Navvy Jack." 

12 August 1931 -The first school and wedding. 

The first wedding in West Vancouver was that of Mr. John Hart to Mrs. Lawson's sister, but the 
first wedding in a church, or perhaps "church wedding form," was held in the first school room, 
and was that of Mr. Lawson's eldest daughter Elizabeth Catherine, now Mrs. W.J. Pitman. A 
picture of this wedding, taken on the steps of Navvy Jack's house, is in the Archives. 


(City Archives C.V.P. Out. 80 N. Out. 22.) 


Mr. and Mrs. John Lawson. 

After our long conversation, Mr. Lawson invited me to his villa in a secluded nook of trees where 
the bend of Marine Drive meets the bend of shores, and here again were a number of holly trees, 
at 22 nd and Bellevue Avenue. 

Mrs. Lawson is a lady of splendid physique, behind whose gentle, gracious exterior the dominant 
personality of a mother of men of British Columbia was plainly discernible, one of those true types 
whose subtle encouragement has so contributed to the building of our homes where once forest 
grew; one of those who find expedients where others find difficulties; one of those women to 
whom British Columbia owes much. She welcomed us, and soon spread delicious refreshments. 

They gave their only living son in the Great War; killed, near Cambrai, about a month before its 
end, whilst serving with the 46 th Battalion — still another instance of the many only sons who fell in 
that awful conflict. Mr. Lawson himself joined the 158 th Overseas Battalion (Duke of Connaught's 
Own) in September 1916, arrived in England November 1916, served in France at the age of 57, 
another of those splendid men who, rightly or wrongly, found the expedient of serving our land in 
the moment of its greatest distress by declaring, despite the natural debarment of age, that they 
were still under forty-five years old. Subsequently, he was president of the West Vancouver 
branch of the Canadian Legion. He is the tyler of St. David's Lodge of A.F. & A.M. 

There is a rapture in listening to the narrations of such men and women. Here was a man who 
had seen the first trains of the Canadian Pacific Railway pass, who had himself helped in the 
difficult task of getting them over a roadbed and route through the mountains as yet in its raw 
state of rough newness, a difficulty not perhaps familiar to those who have not experienced it, nor 
lived in that age; who had carved out of the virgin forest his garden on the shore, and who, as 
others came, and it quickly grew into a self-governing municipality, became a ruler in its civic 
government; finally, as he grew older, to serve as a soldier in the greatest of all adventures. 

And here was a woman who, after years of playing the silent part of a resourceful pioneer wife, 
not one whit less important than a man's because of its unobtrusiveness, finally gives her only 
son, their posterity, for Canada. 

"I went there to become a millionaire," said Mr. Lawson. And then he smiled. 


West Vancouver. Lieutenant Colonel John W. Warden, D.S.O., O.B.E., 
102nd Battalion. 

West Vancouver was incorporated as a municipality in 1 91 2. The first reeve was Chas. Nelson, a 
pioneer druggist and cricketer of Vancouver, followed by Mr. Lawson as reeve for 1 91 3 and 1914. 
It was during Mr. Lawson's term that Col. Warden was councillor. 

13 October 1931 - Christ Church Cathedral. Dean Renison, D.D., M.A. 

This evening attended meeting of Church Committee at which Dean Renison said that he had 
accepted, with much regret, the Bishopric of Athabasca. 

He said he had gone east on his holidays without the faintest notion of what had since 
eventuated. At Hamilton he had been offered a rectory at one thousand dollars more than he was 
receiving here per year, but had refused it. He was coming home, when one quarter of an hour 
before he reached Winnipeg, a telegram was handed him saying that he had been elected, at the 
triennial synod of the Church of England in Canada then sitting in Winnipeg, and asking his 
immediate acceptance. He was met at the train by a delegation. He wired his wife in Hamilton, 
who advised acceptance as a call to duty. The remuneration as Bishop of Athabasca is one 
thousand dollars per annum less than Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. He said that he had been 
extremely happy in his charge at Christ Church Cathedral during the past four years, and had 
expected to remain here for an indefinite period. He realised the comfort he would probably have 


to give up, but the north country required a man, God had seen fit to decree that he should go, 
and he accepted the duty. 

Christ Church Cathedral. 

Mr. A.E. Beck told me today that he was present at the committee meeting which arranged the 
details of the laying of the corner stone of Christ Church. Mr. William Downie (of the C.P.R.), 
afterwards Grand Master of the Freemasons, proposed that the freemasons should lay the 
cornerstone. Mr. Beck said, "I replied, 'why the freemasons? I don't know if there is any meaning 
to all the circling around and contortions they go through. The whole thing is as unintelligible to 
me as a lot of prairie Indians beating their torn toms and dancing around in a circle.' 'Well,' replied 
Mr. Downie," continued Mr. Beck, "'when the freemasons circle around, Mr. Beck, each time they 
circle around they drop something in the cup.' 'Oh, I see,'" Mr. Beck said he replied, "'then in that 
case I think we had better have them.'" 

Mr. Beck had been relating the difficulties they had experienced in financing Christ Church at the 
commencement, the old "root house," the insistence of Mr. Browning that something be done 
about the property purchased from the C.P.R. — payment, I suppose — how Mr. Browning had 
said, "that it was a valuable corner," rather ominously, and how he, Mr. Beck, had replied that that 
might be so, but that, equally ominously, if Mr. Browning did not "look out," and "did anything" — 
presumably dispose of the property over their heads — there would be trouble as he would offend 
many influential people. Mr. Browning was C.P.R. land commissioner. He had told Mr. Browning 
that they would ultimately come out all right. 

J.S. Matthews 

14 October 1931 - Kitsilano Beach. Wild animals of Vancouver. 

In view of Mr. William Hunt's story about finding a deposit of elk dung under a tree just south of 
the Kitsilano "hotel site" at Kitsilano Beach, and Mr. Pittendrigh's story of finding elk horns, 
bleached, at Little Lake (now Deer Lake), and the similarity of the flora, etc. at both places — wet, 
swampy muskeg bordering water — one story confirms the other that these animals did exist 
around Vancouver at one time, and that they found a pleasing habitat, and perhaps food 
agreeable to them in and around such peaty places. 

The "Jungle" of 1931. Hastings Sawmill, site, 1931. 

In conversation with Alderman Warner Loat today, I remarked to him that when the "Jungle" was 
broken up by the health authorities in September 1931, that the men who lived in it had drawn up 
a crude memorial in testimony of their appreciation of the benevolence of the Commissioners of 
the Vancouver Harbour Board; that it was written on a piece of foolscap paper, nicely phrased, 
and signed by a large number of men. He said in reply that some newspaper had published a 
disparaging report upon the character of these men, that one of them had complained to him of it, 
stating that the men of the "jungle" were not "roughs" nor "toughs," but a body of well-behaved 
earnest men who desired nothing more than to be good citizens, support themselves, and find 
work, but who were penniless and unable to find work. Colonel Williams told me that one man, at 
least, was university educated, and Cambridge at that. 

J.S. Matthews, 1931 

14 October 1931 -Well-known people. 

The story is told as happening at Gibson's Landing in the summer of 1 931 . Colonel Malkin, lately 
Mayor of Vancouver, and recently appointed Honourable Lieutenant Colonel of the British 
Columbia Regiment, but who had never previously worn a uniform, was summering at "Gibson's," 
and was down on the wharf to meet the boat. He is a very mannerly man, precise, reserved. 


The Reverend Canon Sovereign came down the gang plank. Colonel Malkin hurried forward with 
extended hand, and, many people being within hearing, greeting him with an effusive welcome, 
more than ordinarily loud for Colonel Malkin, "How do you do, Canon Sovereign?" 

Canon Sovereign, who has a rather high-pitched voice which carries well, responded in kind with 
"and how are you, Colonel Malkin?" (Emphasis on "Colonel.") 

Mr. Stirling, who was a friendly spectator to the performance, ejaculated, "Listen to the big guns 

"And pray what do you mean by that, Mr. Stirling?" ask Colonel Malkin enquiringly. 

"Smooth bores," replied Mr. Stirling without hesitation and with a smile. 

At the time Brigadier General Victor W. Odium, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., was "running" for 
parliament for Vancouver South (approximately 1 925), large advertising placards were appearing 
in street car advertising giving his full military title and the initials of his honours. It is reported that 
a stenographer, on reading the placards, exclaimed that they meant, "Come Boys, Don't Say 
Odium, Call Me General." General Odium was, so it is said, at one time the youngest general in 
the British Army (38) and upon his return from the war was, at first, much acclaimed, which 
afterwards led, unjustly, to a common assumption that he was domineering, self-opinionated, and 
self-important. As he grew older, he relaxed this stiffness. 

14 October 1931 - Early public library. Cordova Street and Hastings Mill. 

Attention was drawn to an article which appeared in the Vancouver Star, 19 August 1931 , in 
reference to the demise of Mr. H. Beeman in which it is stated that "Mr. and Mrs. Machin were the 
founders and first librarians of the city, which originated in a little store on Cordova Street." 

Mr. H.P. McCraney says that this is an inaccuracy, and relates as follows: 

"After the city" (Vancouver) "got started, the boarding house at the Hastings Sawmill was 
discontinued. Other boarding houses were springing up and there was no need to keep it on, so 
Mr. Alexander decided to close it. With the closing of the boarding house, there was no further 
use for the library there, and the books were collected in a pile and lay unused. Mr. Alexander 
mentioned the matter to the Reverend H.G. Fiennes-Clinton of St. James Church" (Father 
Clinton), "and asked Father Clinton if he could make use of them as they were no longer wanted. 
Mr. Clinton spoke to Mr. Carter-Cotton" (of the News-Advertiser afterwards.) "Mr. Carter-Cotton 
and I lived in the same house on Carrall Street. Mr. Carter-Cotton spoke to me. The three of us, 
Father Clinton, Mr. Carter-Cotton and myself got together and appointed ourselves a library 
committee and took over the books. Some of them are in the Vancouver Public Library yet" 

"We took the books, went around town, gathered up all the old books and magazines we could 
collect, also collected some money whenever and wherever we could get it. We hired a room 
over McLennan and McFeely's store, the old store on Cordova Street on the south side about half 
way between Abbott and Cambie streets, and put George Pollay and his wife in charge. I think 
Mrs. Pollay is living yet; Mr. Pollay was afterwards killed in a mining accident, and George Pollay 
was librarian there for several years" (?) "before the Machins came. We kept minute books; I 
wonder what has become of them." (Continued.) 

1 5 October 1 931 - The Ellesmere Rooms. Pender Street West. 

The Ellesmere Rooms is a tall wooden building still standing, in 1 931 , at the corner of Pender 
Street West and Homer Street (northwest corner), and lower portion of which is now used for 
cheap stores and offices. It was the first large "boarding house." 


Mr. Beck, K.C., told me today that at the time it was erected, it was "up on the hill." People 
wondered why "they built it up there." He said that much the same thing was said of the Cambie 
Street grounds when first used. People said, "Why did they go so far out?" 

Mr. W.F. Findlay, nephew of Lewis Carter (Welsh spelling of Lewis) of the Carter House, once 
told me that when the McDonough Hall was built at the corner (southeast corner) of Hastings and 
Columbia Street (where the top floor was used for a ballroom), people said, "why did they build it 
away out in the woods?" Away was a commonly used word to express "far off" or "remote." 

J.S. Matthews 

1 5 October 1 931 - Pender Street West. 

In conversation with Mr. H.P. McCraney today, he pointed out that "all the logging roads of the 
early days were located close to a spring of water or a creek. There was a logging road came out 
of the woods between Thurlow Street and Bute Street; that was how the logs from the West End 
were dragged out from points convenient, but the reason the road was there was largely on 
account of water, for horses and men. 


The big trees. Georgia Street West. 

I told Mr. McCraney that there was some dispute as to where the big tree shown in "Vancouver 
Lots for Sale" (with nine men in the picture) photograph stood. "Yes," he replied, "I know there is, 
but I surely ought to know — I cleared it away. It stood partly on the lot which is the southwest 
corner of Georgia Street and Seymour Street — on the back of the lot — and partly on the lane 
between Granville and Seymour, and partly on Georgia Street. When it fell, it fell almost parallel 
with Georgia Street, and in a westerly direction. 

"The man with folded arms in that picture is A.W. Ross, M.P. for some point in Ontario. His wife, 
and Mrs. M.A. McLean, wife of the first mayor of Vancouver, were sisters. Mrs. MacLean is still 
living, though an invalid. A.W. Ross claimed that he was the man who persuaded Sir William Van 
Home to adopt Vancouver as the terminal of the C.P.R.; perhaps he did, I don't know." 

J.S. Matthews 

Mr. H.T. Devine says that "at thirty feet from the butt it was nine feet diameter." 


15 October 1931 - Early public library. 

There is in the custody of Mr. E.S. Robinson, Librarian, Vancouver Public Library, corner Main 
and Hastings Street, now a book, title A Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith," on the flyleaf of which 
is written, 






Jan. 7 th 1869 

J.S. Matthews 


15 October 1931 - City Hall. 

There is a report of the Council Meeting of 8 November 1 886 in the minute book of the 
proceedings of the City Council of Vancouver which is headed to the effect that the meeting was 
held at the "New City Hall." It would appear to be the first meeting held there, at the City Hall on 
Powell Street. 


15 October 1931 -A.E. Beck, Esq., K.C. 

Mr. Beck was 71 in 1 931 . His son married a daughter of Sir. Richard McBride, premier of B.C. Mr. 
Beck told that Sir Richard died poor. 

In 1 931 , the Conservative government then being in power, it was decided to give Mrs. McBride a 
pension. The opposing political party and others became noisy, and asked, "why should she have 
a pension, etc., etc." The matter was dropped. 

I asked Mr. Beck if she ever got a pension, or what was done. He said, "I have heard nothing, and 
I don't like to ask. It is a delicate matter." 

Mr. Beck was at one time a law student in the office of Honourable Joseph Martin at Portage la 
Prairie. He came west in September 1 886, was responsible for the selection of the Cambie Street 
grounds, was first registrar here of County Court or Supreme Court, Collector of Votes, 
government agent, Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and was the first official to occupy 
the old Court House — the first small one — on Victory Square. He was an ardent exponent of 
Workman's Compensation in 1915 (afterwards successfully introduced) and in 1931 was 
engaged in an endeavour to bring about Compulsory Automobile Accident Insurance. He was at 
one time claims agent for the B.C. Electric Railway Company, and was, I think, secretary for the 
first electric railway and light company. He was very active in 1 931 , carrying on his profession as 
a barrister in an office building on Granville Street. 

J.S. Matthews 

17 October 1931 - The Great Fire of 1886. The Regina Hotel, which escaped. 

"There was a clear space back of the Regina Hotel, a sort of yard or clearing where the earth was 
free of bushes and branches, said Mr. W.F. Findlay (nephew of Lewis Carter of the Carter House) 
today. "That was the reason the Regina Hotel escaped; it divided the fire a little. The story told by 
Mr. H.P. McCraney about the hotel bar and contents being put to suitable use after the fire had 
passed is true except in one or two details. What really happened was that some of the people 
saw that they could not get ahead of the fire and reach Hastings Sawmill, so they ran down on 
the Cambie Street wharf. There they protected themselves as best they could, dashed or 
splashed water over themselves. The heat was terrific; some got into the water. There was a float 
down there, and they waded out to it. The Robert Ker sent her boats and it was from this float that 
most of the women and children went; there must have been one hundred and fifty people on the 
Ker at one time, all that the two boats could move before the fire died down or went past. Twelve 
or fifteen men remained behind; they were worn out carrying women and children to the float. 
Some of these afterwards went up to the Regina Hotel, and of course the bar was empty. They 
were exhausted by their work, and, of course, took a little stimulant. The float was a little way out 
from the wharf, and they had to wade out up to their middle." 

Who started the fire, Mr. Findlay? 

"Frank Gladwin, he had orders to. He's dead now. Five or six men were up there on clearing 
work; they had a donkey engine, and that drew up the debris, stumps, branches, etc., etc. into a 
pile. He was told to set fire to it. I wrote a story about it in the Vancouver Sun about five years ago 
as afire anniversary item, probably June 11 th , 12 th or 13 th , about, say, 1926. I asked him if he set 
the fire; he didn't deny it, and my story after publication has never been denied." 




J.S. Matthews 

The, village a.V ike e?xlr 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0065 

17 October 1931 - Kitsilano. Greer's Beach. First Narrows. 

Mr. W.F. Findlay today threw some light on a letter, dated 13 March 1885, written by Mr. W.C. 
Van Home, Vice President, Canadian Pacific Railway, to the Honourable Sir D.L. MacPherson, 
K.C.M.G., Minister of the Interior, Ottawa, in which he says, "Owing to the extreme forces of the 
tide at the First Narrows for large steamships will be almost impracticable except at low tide, and 
from investigations recently made it seems that English Bay must be utilised as the main harbour, 
and that the railway must be extended to run along that bay." 

He then asks that several hundred acres of naval reserve at the south shore of English Bay be 
granted to the C.P.R. for railway purposes. This letter was used in connection with the famous 
Greer's Beach Case. 

Just what Sir William had in mind when he refers to the force of the tide has been generally 
assumed to be the acquisition of still more land; they were the days of land grabbing; everyone 


was into it; and, further, a syndicate of influential men, some of them high in gubernatorial circles, 
owned Lot 192, and probably wanted a railway there. (See The Fight for Kitsilano Beach by J.S. 
Matthews in Vancouver City Museum.) 

Mr. Findlay said today, "One of the first C.P.R. Oriental liners was the Parthia. You must realise 
that steamships in those days were of very low power as compared with those of today. The old 
Parthia could not do more than twelve knots, and in the early days the tide in the narrows was at 
least two knots stronger than it is today now that it has been largely dredged. The Parthia could 
not get out of the Narrows easily when the tide was coming in; she had to take a run at it. I have 
myself beaten her out. I recall on one occasion I was out in the Narrows in a row boat trolling for 
salmon when the Parthia came along on her way out. Of course, I knew the tides between 
Brockton Point and Prospect Point, and took advantage of the back eddies; I could get out almost 
without rowing at all. On this occasion, I nearly beat her out of the Narrows, and it surprised me at 
the time that I should do so. The Parthia's twelve knots was the best she could do under the most 
favourable conditions; under ordinary circumstances, she could not do more than about nine, and 
the tide at that time ran about nine knots when coming in full and strong, so she was pretty much 
at a standstill. On this occasion, she failed on her first try, and backed up almost as far as where 
North Vancouver is, and took a second run at it. The Narrows at that time was not as wide as it is 
now, and there was not much room for manoeuvring a big steamer. If they had waited an hour or 
so they could have got out easily in the slack tide. About the only thing to do with a big steamer 
when she could not 'make it' was to go astern and have another try; there was no room for 

"I forget now whether it was the Parthia or Batavia which came first; it was one or the other. The 
Abyssinia came later, and for a time did 'land office business.'" 

From Mr. Findlay's story it can be surmised that Mr. W.C. Van Home, afterwards Sir William, 
would probably have been advised, as early as 1885, by his engineers that difficulty would be 
experienced with the tides of the First Narrows in getting the low-powered steamers out of 
Burrard Inlet without delays for suitable tides, and that this prompted him to conceive the idea of 
docks outside the narrows. (The old map shows docks at Kitsilano.) He could hardly have known 
that the day was coming when steamers would have the power they now have, the speed of 
trains, and populations equal to a small city. 


18 October 1931 - Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles. Lieutenant Colonel 
C.A. Worsnop. 

In the summer of 1 920 I was walking on Robson Street when I met Lieutenant Colonel C.A. 
Worsnop (he died 31 December 1920), {NOTE ADDED LATER: Colonel C.B. Worsnop says 31 
December 1922) one of the officers who organised the first militia unit in Vancouver, No. 5 
Company, British Columbia Brigade of Garrison Artillery, and who subsequently was the first 
officer commanding the famous 6 th Regiment, the Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles, a military unit 
of which H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, K.G., once said, "and I hope that in this respect you will 
long continue to set an example to the other regiments of Canada." Colonel Worsnop invited me 
to take a few steps with him; it was a warm summer's day, and he was enjoying the sunshine. 

I asked him how it came about that we adopted our regimental title, and he replied in words akin 
to what follows: 

"When General Hutton decided that we must be changed from artillery he offered me a choice of 
what we should be changed into at a private luncheon we had together in the old Hotel 
Vancouver. General Hutton sat on one side of a small table, and myself on the other. General 
Hutton said, 'What would you like to be, Colonel Worsnop, fusiliers or rifles?' I replied at once, 
'Oh, I'd prefer to be rifles.' 'Then I'll see what I can do to get the Duke of Connaught to be your 
honorary colonel,' said General Hutton. 


"That was how it was," continued Colonel Worsnop. 

Colonel Worsnop had served in the North West Rebellion with the "Little Black Devils" (90 th 
Regiment) of Winnipeg, a rifle regiment, which would explain in part his preference for the rifle 
uniform. One has but to refer to the history of the Rifle Brigade to gather why H.R.H. the Duke of 
Connaught was thought of as Honorary Colonel. 

J.S. Matthews 

18 October 1931 -7™ Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Lieutenant 
Colonel W. Hart-McHarg. 

"I can't understand Hulme," Major W. Hart-McHarg is reported to have said while in Vancouver, 
just before leaving for the front with the first contingent from Vancouver to the Great War. "I don't 
know why he doesn't jump at the opportunity. As for me, I have but a couple of years or so to live, 
and ..." but he did not finish the sentence. 

The above incident was related to me by Captain W.H. Forrest, paymaster of the 6 th Regiment 
D.C.O.R., in which Colonel Hulme was officer commanding, Major Hart-McHarg second in 
command, and myself a company commander. He told it to me after the War, shortly before he 
died about 1920. Captain Forrest and Major McHarg were close friends; both were renowned rifle 
shots, and said that the conversation took place just after Colonel Hulme had declined or waived 
the command, to which as senior officer of his regiment he was entitled, of the first troops to leave 
Vancouver for the Great War. 

But what Colonel Hart-McHarg did not take into consideration was that Colonel Hulme was a man 
of much judgment, a splendid soldier, and a man who throughout his life would rather serve 
others than serve himself. He, himself, had no war experience, while right at his hand was an 
experienced officer, one who had served as a sergeant in South Africa, a man of influence, 
dignity, ability, and held in the highest respect by all ranks of soldiers and civilians. It was a great 
sacrifice for Colonel Hulme, a sacrifice for which he has never had credit, in fact, a sacrifice for 
which he has been blamed by men of lesser reasoning, who asserted that he sidestepped a 
responsibility. Then again, Colonel Hulme was a barrister with responsibilities to clients which he 
could not drop at a moment's notice; he had a wife and three small children. Colonel Hart-McHarg 
was also a barrister, but he had partners, and was a single man, and had often left his practice for 
trips abroad. What Colonel Hulme should receive is our plaudits for his selection of Colonel 

J.S. Matthews 

1 9 October 1 931 - The "Jungle" of 1 931 . Hastings Sawmill. Vancouver 
Harbour Commission and Colonel R.D. Williams. 

It was a warm heart on a wet day, and Colonel Williams, which started that remarkable 
humanitarian haven for the destitute and distressed men — many of them splendid specimens, 
and fully half veterans of the Great War — which spontaneously grew up on the old Hastings 
Sawmill site during the spring of 1 931 , and existed throughout the summer until about 
September. By a strange whim of fate, this odd collection of crude habitations sprung up on that 
most historic site, the bare scene where once stood the first important settlement on Burrard Inlet, 
the Hastings Mill, now no more, once the terminus of the historic road, a mere slit in the forest, 
which led to and from New Westminster and civilisation. 

Today the great transcontinental road, the Canadian Pacific Railway passes through it before 
finally reaching its Pacific terminus a half a mile further on, and it is, or was, this fact which 
contributed to the establishment of the "Jungle." Hundreds of forlorn men in search of work were, 
during 1 931 , "beating" their way backwards and forwards, first east, then west, on the car roads, 
in search of work, and as the freight trains passed into the terminals of Vancouver they dropped 
off at convenient points, this particular one being a popular dropping off point. 


This is the story of one of our 1 930 "Jungles." 

One wretched afternoon in the spring of 1931, the rain fell in torrents and ran in streams down the 
window panes of the old Hastings Sawmill office, now used as the Vancouver Harbour 
Commission headquarters. Colonel R.D. Williams, a busy business man and administrator, one of 
the three harbour commissioners, rose from his polished desk in a sumptuously furnished office 
to witness the burst of the heavens, and reached the window just in time to see the legs of a man 
disappear under a pile of rails which lay on the C.P.R. right of wayjust east of Dunlevy Avenue. 
The rails were stacked four or five high; adjoining was that vacant area formerly used as the 
Hastings Sawmill lumber yard. The men had added some paper in sheets to add to the protection 
from the elements afforded by the rails. 

Colonel Williams afterwards related to me, much as follows: 

"It was a shocking afternoon, the rain came down in sheets. Through the window I saw a man 
disappear under some rails, put on my coat, and went out into the storm to investigate. I stooped 
down, and looked under the rails, and saw what seemed to be several men sheltering under 
there. I called out to them, and finally enquired if any were returned soldiers. One replied, 'yes,' 
so I told him to come on out of there, and he came. He told me he had been a bugler in the 
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the P.P.C.LI.'s. After I had fished him out, I 
discovered there were thirteen more under there, and two of them were without boots. 

"I pointed to those two wooden sheds you see over there on the shore, and told the bugler to take 
charge of the party. We had a stove down at the La Pointe Pier, so I sent over and got that, and 
then went round and bought canned milk, tea, sugar, and some bread and tobacco. 

"Then we sent the men over to the fish wharf; you know, the commission operates a fish wharf; 
the fishermen over there gave them three ten-pound salmon. We got a few potatoes, brought the 
cook stove up, set it up, and started housekeeping with Bugler Hilton in charge. 

"The fourteen men had no sooner moved out from the rail pile than more went under, and we had 
the whole situation duplicated again. 

"Then the thing began to grow, and as they grew the men began to steal the grain doors which 
come in on the grain cars, and they took some iron they should not have taken — to make 
shelters — and a few more men came, and then still more, and finally the thing grew too big for 
Hilton, so I took Policeman Walters from the Ballantyne Pier, and put him in charge as a sort of 
majordomo, and to maintain law and order. 

"Finally, the thing got a little too big even for him, so the office staff took charge, and undertook to 
run the 'show' in their spare time. Some of my personal friends took an interest; I think I must 
have clothed thirty men with the clothes which were sent to me to distribute. Mrs. Eric W. Hamber 
took a very great interest, and one day sent down two dozen pairs of boots, two dozen each of 
suits of underwear, socks, shirts, and ten pounds of tobacco. The fishermen over at the first wharf 
were very good all through the existence of the 'Jungle,' and always gave what they could spare. 

"As the thing began to get bigger, all three Harbour Commissioners began to take a private and 
personal interest, and one day a ton of potatoes was mysteriously found in the basement of the 
office, and the strange thing was that that ton of potatoes was akin to the oatmeal of the barrel in 
the Bible — there were always more potatoes; in fact, altogether there must have been several 
tons. The fisherman at the wharf sent over fish every day; P. Burns and Company sent meat; 
Captain Binks came down one day with ten dollars worth of cigarettes; the Vancouver Club sent 
ten gallons of soup every morning, Sundays included, and all the bread and rolls and buns left 
over from the day. Once a week, sometimes twice, and oftener, the Terminal City Club sent down 
hot mulligan. 

"We lined up all returned men for first choice as soon as the stuff arrived, then the men who had 
registered came next, and the rest followed. Every morning when the soup came down we lined 
them up in a ragged column on the boardwalk. The issue was a bowl of soup, one third of a loaf 
of bread, a piece of soap, and some cigarettes. By this time the 'thing' was getting too extensive 


for Hilton, and afterwards for Walters, so our own office staff took charge. They were a quiet, 
orderly lot; one was a graduate of Cambridge University. The men themselves cleared out the 

How? I asked. 

"Beat them up," was the blunt response Colonel Williams gave. 

He continued. "We had the usual sanitary arrangements of a military camp, with the added 
advantages of running water for proper latrines and for washing purposes. 

"Thus it went on until a case of typhoid developed, and we had to take the patient to the General 
Hospital. Then the health authorities of the city stepped in, and we had to close up the 
'encampment.' A body of workmen were sent down, and the whole 'Jungle' was warned to collect 
their belongings and clear out, and the improvised hutments, a nondescript collection of 
wonderfully unique architecture; old boards, sheet iron, packing cases and what not, went up in 
flames. Besides, the winter was coming on, and the rain was beginning. Summer was over. 

"Had it not ended as it did, we have in mind getting tents from the Department of National 
Defense and setting up a tented camp. 

"We started with fourteen; it rose to a peak of two hundred and forty, but the average roll was one 
hundred and sixty. 

"One particularly gratifying thing was that at the conclusion the men presented the Harbour 
Commissioners with a rude testimonial, drawn up on a sheet of plan foolscap, and signed by 
approximately one hundred men, expressing their thanks and gratitude." 

J.S. Matthews 

Note: a copy of the testimonial together with a number of photographs of the "Jungle" are 
preserved in the City Archives Room. 

19 October 1931 - Kitsilano. St. Mark's Church. Bishop Sovereign, B.D. 

Bishop-elect Sovereign, now of St. Mark's Church (Anglican), 2 nd Avenue West, Kitsilano, soon to 
be created Bishop of the Yukon, told me today in a conversation at his rectory, 2436 West 2 nd 
Avenue, that when he first went to St. Mark's Church as its first rector, the whole area of land 
surrounding was a wilderness (1909). A single-track street railway on what had in the early days 
been the C.P.R. railway to English Bay ran to Kitsilano Beach, and from there the church was 
reached by a convenient trail, the remains of an old logging road which ran from the street car 
terminus on the beach diagonally across the land until it reached near the church. At night a 
lantern was carried when traversing the old trail. 

There was but one road in Kitsilano then, the sinuous Point Grey Road, part of which is now 
known as First Avenue West. Point Grey Road was a narrow trail, a buggy's width wide, lined 
with small bushes, and with mud deep to the axles. It ran as far as Dunbar, and then turned south 
into the forest. 

All that section west of Trafalgar Street was covered with trees, the larger of which had been 
taken out by loggers. Mrs. J.Z. Hall had a clearing in the bush, approached by a trail which led 
from Point Grey Road, where she and her family spent the summers. They had two cows, a 
garden, a Chinese helper, and a little pool for bathing in the creek. The little girls were not allowed 
to go too far away when picking blueberries which grew wild, for fear of the bears in the woods. 
(Photo of this clearing is in the Archives.) 

East of the church there was nothing until Vine Street was reached; that street was the limit of 


"Then," said Reverend Canon Sovereign, "the boom came. At one time we counted one hundred 
and fifty houses being built at one time; we could count that number without moving from one 
spot. You could hear the hammers humming, almost like a beehive." 

"We had a little 'groan box' for an organ, and we started the Sunday school with seventeen 
children; today we have six hundred. 

"We are sorry to go," said Mr. Sovereign. "We have been very happy here. I love the place. There 
is no place in all Canada where I desire so much to be, but there is a great work before us in the 
Yukon, and we must go." 

Mrs. Sovereign interjected, "You know they have no one up there; it is a missionary field. I'm 
looking forward to having much to accomplish." 

Mrs. Sovereign is one of the daughters of the late Honourable Price Ellison, formerly Minister of 
Lands and Finance. She and her sister were, or are, the two first white girls of Vernon, B.C. 

The Reverend Canon Sovereign gave me the St. Mark's Church Year Book for 1929 which 
includes a brief history of its history, and also an In Memories brochure printed in memory of 
Lieutenant Harold Owen, son of Reverend C.C. Owen, "Killed in Action," 31 January 1916, an 
especially well written historical biography of this remarkable father and son written by Canon 
Sovereign as a tribute to both. 


Site of St. Mark's Church. 

"The particular location on which St. Mark's Church stands," said Canon Sovereign, "was 
selected on account of its commanding position; it is the highest in Kitsilano; the ground slopes in 
all directions downward. If there is any one man more than another who selected it, it would be 
Mr. H.J. Gilbert, now living at 2425 West First Avenue. The surrounding area was a wilderness of 
stumps, and Mr. Gilbert searched around until he found this location, then called on others to 
come and look at it. We selected it on account of its eminence; we hoped that some day, we 
should build a church with a tall tower or spire which could be seen for miles around; a landmark." 

"I remember," said Mr. Calland of Point Grey Road, "the Reverend Mr. Sovereign coming to me 
one day when I was sitting on my lawn here, and asking me what I thought of the corner of 2 nd 
Avenue and Larch Street as a site for the new church. I told him I thought it would be a very good 
site. I was on the committee for selecting the site." 


Fossils of earlier ages in Vancouver. 

My attention to the fossils on Kitsilano foreshore was first brought to my attention by Dr. S.J. 
Schofield, professor of geology in the University of British Columbia, and who lived for several 
years at the corner of McNichol Avenue and Arbutus Street. One Saturday morning, he invited 
me to accompany him with a number of university students to collect fossils, and we went along 
the foreshore between Balsam Street and Trafalgar Street, and searched, hammer in hand, under 
the cliffs, the low cliffs, at this point. We found many, some with very distinct markings of leaves 
of trees. 

In the summer of 1 931 , two very large specimens were cut out of this sandstone rock and placed 
in the Vancouver City Museum, one being long and narrow, the other square; they are very 
wonderful evidence of the forest growth at this point millions of years ago. 

J.S. Matthews 


20 October 1931 - Big trees. Westminster Avenue. 

In the photographs of the first brass band in Vancouver, and also of the first cricket team to play 
(Dominion Day, 1 887) on the Cambie Street grounds, the dark clump of trees in the background 
are trees still standing on Westminster Avenue, or rather up to Westminster Avenue. This last 
clump of trees remained there for a "long time" after 1 886. They stood about where the Canadian 
National Railway station was in 1931, but close up to the street. 


Horse racing. Granville Street, 1887. 

On 23 May 1887, a communication was received by the City Council (see Minutes, page 359) 
from the Horse Racing Committee informing the Council that they had gone over the grounds of 
the city with a view to finding a suitable place for horse racing, and recommended that Granville 
Street be fixed up for that purpose. The communication was referred to the Board of Works who, 
on June 6 th , submitted the engineer's report to the Council for approval. 

One page 366, June 6 th minutes of Council, it was "Moved by Aid. D. Oppenheimer, seconded by 
Aid. Lefevre that the improvement of Granville St. be awarded to William Harkins. Carried." 

In discussing this matter with Mr. H.P. McCraney, he said that it was intended to hold the horse 
races on Georgia Street, a wide street, and that they probably would have been had it not been 
that it rained so hard all that June that the new ground which he had cleared — he had the 
contract — was so muddy that it was impossible to race horses on that street, so they were held 
on Howe Street, the start being near Nelson Street, and the finish by the Hotel Vancouver where 
a small judge's box was erected. (See Mrs. J.Z. Hall's remarks.) 

21 October 1931 -The lamplighter of Vancouver. 

Probably the first and only lamplighter that the city of Vancouver ever employed officially was 
appointed to the position on 1 1 April 1 887 by the City Council. As the summer of that year drew to 
a close, successful efforts to introduce electric light were commenced. (See H.P. McCraney's 
account of the "First Electric Light.") His name was Tom Clough (pronounced Cluff) and his salary 
thirty dollars per month, probably Vancouver's only lamplighter, for in September 1 887 steps were 
commenced to install electric light. 

The Bluff. Howe Street. 

Few indeed of the people of Vancouver in 1931 could say where "The Bluff" lies located; its 
prominence has gone, it lies concealed in other and more artificial eminences; yet, in the earlier 
days, it was a most conspicuous landmark. It comprised that bold headland which now forms the 
northern end of Burrard, Hornby and Howe streets. 

"The Bluff" rose almost straight from the water of Burrard Inlet, was crowned with forest trees, and 
stood out majestically above the low lying southern shore of Coal Harbour on the west and 
Gastown on the right, to the height of approximately eighty feet above high water mark. 

There is a minute in the records of the City Council of 28 March 1 887 which orders the ditching, 
grading, etc., etc. of "Howe Street from Georgia to The Bluff." 


Canadian Pacific Railway. Taxation. 

The City Council, on 28 February 1887, exempted from taxation for twenty years all Canadian 
Pacific Railway yards, roundhouses, etc., etc. (See minutes City Council this and subsequent 


28 October 1931 - John Innes, historical scenic painter. 

Went to see him today, as he phoned he had completed the coloured preparatory sketch of 
Greer's Beach, Kitsilano, from my drawings and description. Am to get him more details. We sat 
chatting. He is now over 70. 

He told me more about his early experiences on the prairies. Said he was on the survey crew. 
The chief surveyor was a cranky old boy who got drunk whenever a chance offered. On one 
occasion, he got so inebriated the DTs developed, and Mr. Innes was sent to look after him. On 
his arrival, the surveyor got tearful, said he was going to die, moaned "Goodbye, John, goodbye," 
so, said Mr. Innes, "there was a pillow close by, so I picked it up and gave him a 'bat' on the 
head." The chief acknowledged the blow by saying that he (Mr. Innes) was "most 

I asked if he found age and eyesight interfering with his work. He replied, "No, better than ever, 
more experience is improving me." 

I asked how many pictures had he ever painted. He laughed and tossed his head. "Why," he said, 
"the Hudson's Bay have 21 in London now, and there is 30 in the store on Granville Street 
packed up, that's 51." 

I asked, how long did he stay in New York. He replied, "Six years, but I was on illustrating work 
then; I don't think I painted half a dozen pictures during the whole six years." 


Mrs. Mary Capilano. 

She is (may be — see the file Capilano. JSM.) the granddaughter of the brother of the chief 
Capilano who received Vancouver in 1792. Noel Robinson told me he asked Chief Matthias about 

(Note: granddaughter of half-brother who was born long after 1 792.) 

A lot of rot — she was about 88 when she died about 1 920 or 1 930. 

John Innes. 

Surveying on the prairies was onerous hard work, he said. "I was leading chain man, and what 
with taking notes of the soil, etc., and other work, it kept us very close and hard at it all the time." 


28 October 1931 -Holy Trinity Church. 

The first Holy Trinity Church in Kitsilano was on Pine Street, and is now, 1 931 , used as the 
"Orange Hall," 2380 Pine Street, a small wooden building probably sixty feet long by twenty-five 
wide, laid out in the form of a cross, with domed or cupped chancel. The first marriage there was 
Mr. William Hunt and Miss — , 3 June 1901. Mr. Hunt is the son of that Mr. C. Hunt who painted 
Granville Street 1884, a forest trail scene. 

About the same time, St. Mark's Church was at the southeast corner of Maple Street and First 
Avenue West. The two churches were in too close proximity to each other. Hence St. Mark's 
moved westward, and Holy Trinity moved southward. At the time of Mr. Hunt's marriage, the 
rector was Reverend John Antle, afterwards to acquire fame as the reverend gentleman in charge 
of the Mission Motorship Columbia of northern waters with headquarters at Alert Bay Hospital, 
Alert Bay. See further on history of St. Mark's Church. 



Kitsilano. Salmon in early days. 

In conversation with Mr. William Hunt, an early resident of Greer's Beach (see previous 
conversations with him), he told me that the pool which was part of the creek which ran along 
Third Avenue West, finally passing diagonally across the muskeg until it emptied into the sea at 
the foot of Yew Street, was at the corner of Cedar Street and Third Avenue. He tells me that he 
has many times seen two or three dozen salmon in that pool struggling to get higher up the creek, 
and sometimes effecting their purpose. He says it was not an infrequent sight, but a regular one. 
He says he recalls one occasion about 1900 when he interested some visitors from the Australian 
Royal Mail Liner Miowera or Warrimoo by showing them the fish swimming about; they were 

J.S. Matthews 

29 October 1931 - "Princess Louise Tree." 

This tree stood on the shore of Burrard Inlet at the foot of Gore Avenue, a tall fir or cedar, for 
several years a solitary sentinel and sole survivor. Its story is interesting. 


Water supply of Gastown. 

On mentioning today to Mr. T. Mathews that the story of the water supply of Vancouver could not 
properly be written without some references to the early water supply of Granville, he told me that 
our earliest citizens on the low land of Gastown got their water supply from wells. "But the rats,'" 
he said, "were an awful pest. You know," he said, "one day we dug a well, and got down about 
twelve feet by evening, covered it with boards so that no one would fall in. When we started again 
in the morning there was about a foot of water in it, and twenty-four drowned rats. All the wells, of 
course, were covered, but the rats used to fall in between the cracks in the board coverings, or in 
some one similar. They were a nuisance." 


Mr. Mathews said that the tiny inlet of the sea, which penetrated south of Water Street just west 
of Carrall Street, did not reach as far as the Alley (lane between Cordova and Water streets) but 
about part of the distance. It was crossed by a trestle. 

The Maple Tree, the famous Maple Tree at the corner was burnt in the Great Fire of 1 886. 

30 October 1931 -Visit of Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (H.M. 
The King and Queen.) 

Had dinner this evening with Mrs. C.A. Worsnop, relict of Lieutenant Colonel C.A. Worsnop (and 
mother of Lieutenant Colonel C.B. Worsnop, D.S.O., now of 1942 Orchid Avenue, Hollywood, 
California) who is staying with Mrs. J.W. Whitehead, relict of J.M. Whitehead, late Belgian Consul 
at Vancouver, and Miss Whitehead. Small party, Mrs. Worsnop, the two Whiteheads, my wife and 
self, five. 

Mrs. Worsnop is to be 81 next month. She is wonderfully active for her age, and from her 
movements, etc., one would easily pass her for sixty, perhaps 65. I asked her to tell me about the 
visit of the King and Queen to the Drill Hall in September 1 901 , which as a young man of 23 I had 
witnessed from among the ranks of the crowd at the Drill Hall entrance. She said: 

"We had the dinner in the Officers' Mess, the same one which you use now. It was a very small 
affair, just the Duke and Duchess, their personal staff, His Worship the Mayor and Mrs. Townley, 
and Aldermen and the officers of the regiment. The Mess is small and would not accommodate 
many. Lady Tupper, Mrs. A.J. Dana (wife of C.P.R. purchasing agent) and myself prepared the 


tables for the luncheon. We rented some of the chairs from Weigand or someone, but most of the 
silver, etc., was from our own homes. I had a beautiful Chinese screen, and I remember how the 
Queen admired it, and said that she was surprised that she should have come so far to see that 
beautiful thing, the finest she had ever seen. Of course, it was beautiful; it had been presented to 
Hub" (Colonel Worsnop) "by Prince — " (naming some Chinese prince whose name I forget.) 


Most likely the great Chinese statesman, Li Hung Chang, who passed through Vancouver 
in September 1896 (see his file). 

Colonel C.B. Worsnop says it was Kang Yu Wei, and that he now (June 1940) has the 
screen at his home, 1942 Orchid Avenue, Hollywood. 

"The table decorations consisted of small individual nosegays of geraniums and maiden hair fern; 
we chose them because red is royal mourning, and in the centre of the top table was a large bowl 
of maiden hair fern. 

"Then we fixed up one of the rooms for a dressing room for her." 


Mrs. Grange Holt says "we" is too broad altogether, as Mrs. Worsnop was not one of the 
ladies who "fixed up" the dressing room. JSM.) 

"I have the brush and comb yet, of course, I don't know if she ever used it. We brought down 
some of our own toilet ware, and Mrs. Grange V. Holt (nee Miss Rose Townley) and Mrs. Dana 
put two silver picture frames, one on each side of the looking glass. Then Mrs. Dana said to me 
anxiously, 'Now what on earth shall we put in those?' and then immediately answered herself by 
saying, 'Oh, I know,' and later she came back with two pictures which she had cut out of some 
illustrated newspaper, of the two princes, the Queen's sons." 


Mrs. Grange V. Holt, nee Miss Rose Townley (sister to Colonel His Worship) and the 
Mayoress Mrs. T.O. Townley (mother of Fred Townley, architect and designer of City 
Hall, 1935-6) arranged the dressing table. 

Mrs. Grange Holt confirms the facts, but says, "I was not presented to Her Royal 
Highness. Owing to illness, I could not be there, but the details of every happening were 
told to me, and perhaps I was especially impressed as my eldest daughter was about a 
week old at the time." 

"When the Queen" (Duchess) "came in to the improvised dressing room, she went almost straight 
to the dressing table, and gave a little start, observed the two pictures. She looked very earnestly, 
and then cried. Then she sent for me. She said, "I want to give you my heartfelt thanks, and also 
my husband's. Everywhere I have gone, I have been handed bouquets, and now I am here, and 
at home. Oh, how I do long to see my boys. None but a mother would have thought of this." She 
asked who it was who had placed them there, and when told Mrs. Dana, desired to see her, but 
we told her Mrs. Dana had remained away on account of wearing black" (mourning), "so she 
asked us to convey to her her thanks. Then she sent for the King, and when he entered she 
showed him the pictures, and as the tears ran down her cheeks, the King" (Duke) "took her in his 

"We had some floral decorations, too, some small bunches of violets; we thought they would be 
most suitable on account of the royal mourning" (for Queen Victoria), "and she bent over them 
and said, 'I understand.' 

"After the dinner was over she much admired the maiden hair fern in the large central jardiniere, 
and asked permission to take a small root. So we got a small pot and it was sent down to her 
railway coach." 


Mrs. Worsnop's narration of the incidents outlined was so delicately and feelingly conveyed, and 
with such sympathetic tenderness, that the warmth of Her Royal Highness's emotion seemed to 
have been preserved in its fullness in her memories throughout the thirty years since. Her 
Majesty's sensibility to the tender compliment intended found utterance in words and gestures so 
discriminatingly gentle and heartfelt as to deeply impress all who were the witnesses — the 
incident must have been a touching spectacle. 


'^-*^- rte^W" <m, Qtabout T&»u<riy tcrttf^ 

Of Royal Visit 
In Sept., 1901 



Compared with the plans under 
preparation for the coming visit of 

1 & 

The Queen Mother wept. It was 

one of the rare occasions when any 

of Britain's ruling monarchs have 

| been overcome by extreme emotion 

in public. 

Mrs. C. A. Worsnop, widow of the 
late Lt.-Col, Worsnop formerly 
commanding the Duke of Con- 

their Majesties, the program ar- [naught's Own Rifles', was one of 
ranged to welcome the present a, committee of four in charge of 
King's father, the late King George Preparing the tables. A dressing 
and Queen Mary in September 
11901, were very modest. 

room had been set apart for Queen 
Mary and on the dressing table had 
been set two silver frames contain- 
ing recent portraits of the then 
Prince of Wales, and the Duke of 

There was no two and a half hour 

automobile tour through city streets 

such as is now proposed to encom- 
pass vfrtually the entire city. But York now the present king. 

in keeping with the very much 

smaller population and city area 

and from the standpoint of street most straight to the dressing table, 
I decoration the celebration wasl sat dowa and «" ed earnes °y at 

When the queen came in, related 
Mrs. Worsnop later, she went al- 


From the C.P.R, depot the royal 
procession passed through an arch 
at the junction of Cordova and 
Granville Streets. Then via Gran- 
ville it turned on to Hastings where 
it passed under another elaborate 
arch at Richards and Hastings 

i/Tw» other arches were encounl 
tered before .Main Street was reach- 
led where the parade turned north 
( oa Main Street and west on Cor- 
jdova. On the latter thoroughfare 
another floral arch had been erect- 
ed. Via Cambie Street the old 
: Courthouse was reached on the 
jsite now known as Victory Square. 
• -^Virtually on the exact spot where 
the Cenotaph now stands the mayor 
o£ the day, Thomas 0. Townley 
father of Fred Towuley, architect 

for the new city hall, presented hisj* Att6,r luncn toe royal party were 

the pictures. 

"Tears filled Her Royal Highness' 
eyes," said Mrs. Worsnop, "as she 
turned to me and said, 'I want to 
give you my heartfelt thanks and 
also my husband's. Everywhere I 
have gone I have been handed bou- 
quets and — now I am here at home. 
Oh, how I do long to see my boys. 
None but a mother would have 
thought of this.'" 

The pictures had been the 
thought of Mrs. A. J. Dana, also 
on the committee. She was not 
present through being in mourning, 
but Queen Mary sent her warm 
thanks. Her Highness then sent 
for the King and showed him the 
pictures. As she did so the tears 
ran freely down her cheeks, and 
iher husband took her in his arms to 
comfort her. 

Royal Highness, who was known 
as the Duke of York at that time 
with an illuminated address an 
cordial welcome. 

The procession was reformed and 
made its way to the Beatty Street 
drill hall where the official lunch- 
eon was held in the officers' mess j 
of the 6th D.C.O.R, And here oc- j 
curred an incident that carved a j 
warmer spot than ever in the hearts 
of Vancouver folk for the Duchess, ' 
now the Queen Mother. 

driven to Stanley Park via English 
Bay. At Brockton Point the chil- 
dren of the city had their opportun- 
ity of seeing the visitors before 
the procession was reformed and 
headed for the harbor where their 
Royal Highnesses went aboard * fc 
Empress of India ea route f' 

During the past week M 
Matthews, city archivis- 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0066 


31 October 1931 - Personalities. 

Had dinner last night with Mrs. Colonel C.A. Worsnop. She told me she pinned the medals for the 
North West Rebellion on the troops at Winnipeg. Said she ought to have been a soldier. Her two 
grandfathers were admirals (Colonel C.B. Worsnop says "not admirals, but colonels"), her father, 
her husband, and her only surviving son were, or are, colonels. It was Mrs. Worsnop who, as 
C.O.'s lady, received the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, now King George V and 
Queen Mary, at the Drill Hall, September 1 901 , and who was the leading spirit in arranging the 
dinner in the Officers' Mess. She was much incensed over the treatment of her husband about 
1919, blamed General Odium, and said that Colonel A.B. Carey, D.S.O. (of the 102 nd Battalion) 
came to her some months afterwards and said he had had no idea he had been used as a 
political football in his appointment as Collector of Customs, thus forcing her husband's 
superannuation without the appointment after many long years of service, and the last part of 
which was Acting-Collector. 

Said that the connection between her husband and the Duke of Connaught was first formed in the 
North West Rebellion (could not be; she must mean Fenian Raid, 1869) where both served as 
officers; her husband as an officer of the 90 th Regiment ("Little Black Devils"). She had a photo 
sent her late husband by the Duke, in mufti, on which was written in the Duke's handwriting, 
"From your old pal." This explains Colonel Worsnop's desire, in 1899, to have General Hutton 
convert the artillery of Vancouver — as it had to be converted into something — into rifles with the 
Duke of Connaught as Honorary Colonel. 

Mrs. Worsnop is now nearing 81 — will be 81 next month — and is as frisky as a "flapper" of 18. 
Must have been much loved by her husband, and returned his love in the full. 


I was told today that Mrs. M.A. MacLean, wife of the first mayor of Vancouver, and still alive, was 
the great-great-granddaughter of Flora Macdonald. 


Mrs. Angus Fraser, whose husband logged off Jericho Beach, etc. (Fraser's Camp) is, they say, 
living in Colonel McSpadden's old house on Granville Street. Her daughter is Mrs. Mcintosh. 


November 1931 - St. Mark's Church. Kitsilano. 

"I came to Vancouver in the fall of 1907," said Mr. H.J. Gilbert, one of the builders of St. Mark's 
Church, Kitsilano, "and attended Christ Church. 

"I had a lay reader's license, and soon as the Reverend Mr. Tuson resigned on January 1 st 1908, 
the Reverend C.C. Owen asked me if I would help to look after St. Mark's until he could put a 
permanent man in charge, and I then took charge of the Sunday school, and, when they could not 
send a clergyman from Christ Church, the services. I have been teaching Sunday school there 
practically ever since. 

"Then, on March 11 th 1909, they set the boundaries of St. Mark's Parish, and we had to move the 
church site within these boundaries. I was then working for A.E. Austin and Company, real estate 
brokers, and I took Mr. Owen up amongst the stumps to the lots which I thought were the best, 
and which were finally chosen, and Mr. Owen said he would like a large hollow stump which was 
therefor the pulpit. 

"Mr. J.Z. Hall was the wealthiest one amongst us, and he was made church warden, and I gave 
$275 and others gave what they could, and then Mr. Hall financed the first lots, costing $6,000. 
We had two carpenters, Mr. Wenmoth and Mr. Acheson, and we agreed to give our voluntary 
labour and have a bee, and so the first church was built, which is the present chancel of St. 
Mark's. Then we wanted to get a minister to suit us, and considered the best way was to choose 


just one name and stick to it, which we did. Bishop Dart wanted to put his son in, and claimed we 
would have to give him more names, for he would not appoint Mr. Sovereign. I was delegated to 
take the bishop down to meet his tram, and while going down, said to the bishop, 'Surely, surely, 
you won't wreck us at the start' by not giving us the man whom we are all unanimous for. Well, he 
said he would give his answer to Mr. Sovereign if he would call on him at the See House in New 
Westminster next Wednesday, so when I got back I told Mr. Sovereign that the bishop would give 
him his answer next Wednesday, and when he met him the first words were, 'Allow me to 
congratulate the first rector of St. Mark's,' and so we were well away, and have continued to 
prosper ever since." 

(Original of above statement is in Archives.) 


'Ike. EncL. 


Of the Grcahsl of * A W ggf 



"Germany Surrenders 

How Vancouver Becelvts the Hews of tHa MyntTig of the Armistice. 

By an officer n of the 6 th Regiment "The Duke of Conmmtffht's Own 
Rifles," who served overseas with the "North British Columbians" 
was wourtded in the capture of Regina Trench, invalided back to 
Canada, and spent the night of November 10-11, 1918, m recording 
his impressions of the news that hostilities would cease at once. 






, "T)EACE! I must writs fast thatl 
J^the emotions of this historic 
moment be not left unrecorded. 
Our punishment} the world's punish- 
ment, alike both to victor as to van- 
quished, is complete. It is over, it is 
finished; or rather, perhaps, the first 
stage. Punishment en extremis for 
the Germans through whom God 
chose to express his anger at the 
whole; humiliation and the humbling 
by sorrow for the lesser offender. 
The Germans did not try to do right. 
We, at least, were led by the desire, 
even although we failed in its execu- 
tion. Can it be possible that we 
were the servant He chose with 
which to chastise the wicked? 

1 find no desire to rejoice other 
than In a most solemn way. There is 
an inclination to pray, to offer thanks 
to the Almighty that He has given 
us victory, that we hare found such 
favor in His eyes that Ha has spared 
us the humiliation of defeat, that we 
have deserved that favor, and that we 
have been found worthy of being en- 
trusted with the care of our veaktr 
fellow-beings, even though they have 
been our enemies. May the great 
leaders of our Kmpire, while safe- 
guarding our own as it is right they 
should, still always bear in mind that 
they must not abuse the great power 
that has been thrust upon J hem, but 
must care for and husband those who 
have fallen into our hands. That by 
example rather than by force the 
greatest good can now be accomplished 
and that, having set those poor mis- 
guided creatures who call themselves 
the German nation upon the right 
path, their duty Is dne. 


I was asleep when, at thirteen min- 
utes to one, the blowing of factory 
and steamer whistles awoke me. I 
called Hughie, who jumped out of bed, 
and we opened the windows, and the 
glad tidings came in the easier. He 
looked out and said that most of the 
houses around (Kttailano) were lit up, 
and that people were walking to town. 

It is now ten minutes to 2 a.m., 
and there are still sounds of whistles 
blowing, and people shouting, and 
beating cans, but most of my neigh- 
bors must have gone bade to bed be- 
cause their homes are dark again, a 
few firecrackers and pistol shots are 
ringing out, and by the distant sounds 
I imagine the revelry in the city must 
be intense. 

At first, as I lay in bed listening 
to bit sure if the sounds that I heard 
really heralded the news which, while 
we expected it. still had grown some- 
what indifferent about owing to the 
Teeent news that victory was certain, 
I felt strangely sad; sad with sym- 
pathy for those poor mothers whose : 
suns have fallen; sad for those wives; 
and children who. hand in hand, will i 
watch our returning soldiers in vain • 
for their daddy to come home; pity 
for those bravo men who have lost i 
their lives while the last shots are ! 
being fired. God has visited us with 
a great sorrow during' the last few 
years, and there now lies before us a ! 
great and a grand task, which other- 
wise could not have been, the task of 
showing that, even in the greatest of 
our trials, we can still be true men 
and women, strong, steadfast, sympa- 
thetic and just. 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0067 



The opportunities to serve, the great 
privilege of serving others — the noblest 
work of man for man — now lie around 
us on all sides in great abundance. 
That pleasing satisfaction which falls 
to those who devote their lives to the 
services of their fellows, will soon, as 
our broken men come trooping home, 
be available to the humblest. The 
sorrows which this war has created 

e so numerous and so varied that 
e may pass a. day in which the 

■portunity to assist some poor suf- 
ferer from its horrors will not avail 
itself, and those in need of it will be 
more receptive, by reason of their 
humbled pride. The watchers, who 
stand idly by, will be less suspicious 
that personal gain is the motive of 
such noble acts as may fall to their 

After repeating the Lord's Prayer 
with especial stress of thought on the 
sentence, "Thy will be done," 1 felt I 
should be more profitably employed if 
1 got up, and recorded for the benefit 
of those who follow me, the first im- 
prassions of r>ne mind at the receipt 
of the news that the greatest of all 
wars had ended. The gun at Brockton 

(■Point has ceased to fire, but I can hear, 
| ltt the distance a few whistles stlir 
. hooting, and nearer some persona 
blowing horns. Otherwise all is now 
still save the ticking of the clock. It 
Is now a quarter to 3, Those whistles 
will not cease, I expect, until dafr light 
How well 1 remember that beautiful 
August day four and a half years ago 
when little Hughie, from playing 
among the ferns and bracken with his 
brothers, ran after the train to the 
water tower at Tjadysmita, B. C., to. 
buy me, the Colonist, which brought 
the news that Great Britain had de- 
clared war. My little boys half noticed 
that I was perturbed, but went on with 
their playing. My slight training as 
an amatewr soldier, eight years in the 
Duke of Connaughfs Own, made me 
realize even then, in my simplicity, 
that it would degenerate into a hnlo 
caust before it was over. How lightly 
the public took the news. True they 
seemed to be a little more than or- 
dinarily interested in the newspaper 
that morning, but went nonchaianily 
on with their work as they carelessly 
laid it down again. We are seven 
thousand miles distant, and some of 
the zest must have been lost on the 
way. And now — it ts ail over. 

Tes; it was worth it, every bit of it 
was worth it. It was not England's 
seeking. But to the everlasting glory 
of her administrators, the epoch in 
British life in which it has been my 
fortune to live will go down to pos- 
terity and history as one glorified bv 
the nobility of mind of those in that 
period. Greece was famed for her art, 
Kome for her conquest. 


The British people wfll go down 
through the ages for their justice, l^et 
us "do unto others as we would have 
them do unto U&" It was worth it. 
yes, every inch was worth it, that 
those vandals whose ignorance and ar- 
rogance brought such suffering upon 
the world should be brought under 
control, and be turned by time and 
patience into better men. ' 

It was worth It that those who vio- 
: lated the peaceful homes of harmless 
Belgian women should not go un- 
punished for crimes which they must 
have known were wrong before they 
commenced them, for there is no men 
or race of men, be they white, black, 
yellow or red, who have the right to 
perpetrate such needless misery upon 
others as T have seen visited upon 
poor French and Belgians as a result 
of the German invasion. 

The German mind was running 
away, like an uncontrollable horse, in 
jthe wrong direction. It was gigantic 
!and powerful. To stop It and turn it 
in the right direction called for a her- 
culean effort and great sacrifice. 
Great deeds always call for great 
sacrifices. They are worthless if thev 
1 do not. The sacrifice has bmn appall- 
| ing, hut the mad beast has been turned, 
and to his own good, as well as the' 
good of others. It matters little to 
which land or race of people the 
greater credit for the feat belongs, but 
it is pleasing to know that one's own 
country can claim a large share with- 
out violating modesty. 

It is now quarter to four am. A 
newspaper boy, riding through the 
darkness on his bicycle, has just 
passed calling "Extry, extry." r 
gave him ten cents extra for the good 
news. Oh, how thoughtless of me. I 
should have given him $ 5. "Peace" in 
huge letters was the one great word 
the single sheet of newspaper, hur- 
riedly printed no doubt, bore, and be- 
neath it the picture of Jesus Christ, 
looking down from heaven above on 
the shell destroyed" battlefield, and 
below the words, "Peace and good will 
on rarth to all men." To it I added 
the words of Miss Edith Cavell, on the 
eve of her execution, which I admire. 
"In the presence of God. and the awful 
prospect of immediately entering eter- 
nity, I realize that patriotism Is not 

The greatest of all sentences arising 
out of the Great War. 

All is still, I am going back to bed. i 
It is i a.m. 

• • • 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0068 




Same day, 
Nov. ii, 19] g, 8 p.m. 

Truly time waits for no man, and 
famous days, like famous men, must 
pass away. The great events of 
November 11, im, trill soon be his- 
tory, what a day It has been. The 
weather has been cold and clear, just 
the kind for the celebration that our 
vast Vancouver crowds have enjoved. 
I arose again at 8 a.m., and after a 
hurried breakfast made my way In an 
almost empty street car to the office. 
Only one, out of forty who should 
have been there, was at the office- 
Mr. Johns — and after a short talk we 
drove off In his car to see what was 
going on in the streets. We bought a 
few Belgian, Freneh and American 
flags, and decorated the car. Hughie 
sat on my knee. There were signs that 
pandemonium was about to break 
loose in Vancouver. Then wo went 
home, and broached a small beer bottle 
full of whisky given me by my great* 
est competitor in business. (Total 
prohibition was in force in British 
Columbia In 1918.) 

Well, the afternoon was one of the 
proudest of my life. At 2 p.m. several 
hundred, probably a thousand, veterans 
who had fought in France formed up 
on the Central School grounds, and 
arranged themselves into groups repre- 
senting the battalions with whom they 
had served in Prance. My old unii, 
the "102nd North British Columbians" 
and the "5401 Kootenay Battalion, " 
formed up as the 11th Brigade, All 
that was left of them, left of £000 was 
little more than a platoon, perhaps 
100 all told. 

At the head of them, r, as senior 
officer of the brigade, marched in 
that memorable procession. Marched, 
not rode, for much as I would have 
liked to have been mounted, it would 
have been impossible . to control a 
horse in that alley of spectators 
through which we squeezed our way. 
North American crowds do' not show 
their elation with cheers, bat by mak- 
ing a noise, and occasionally a clap 
of the hands. They beat cans, blew 
horns, showered confetti. 

With a rough banner, hurriedly 
daubed with the name of their former 
unit, each body of returned soldiers, 
in column of fours, and headed by 
bands and pipes, wended a sinuous 
way through the assembled populace 
of this great city. There never was 
nor never will be a greater crowd 
upon those streets, for space was re- 
quired even to stand upon! 

We marched, we sang, we smiled, 
or looked grave, as each emotion suc- 
ceeded the other, and as each thought 
of the days just passed were brought 
to memory by sorao trifling sight "or 

"Pack Up Tour Troubles in Tour 
S Old Kit Bag," and "Keep the Home 
Fires Burning" seemed to be the, 
favorite songs, and T am afraid I was 
guilty of the indecorous behavior of 
bawling out, on the main streets of j 
Vancouver, the words of those two his- ' 
toric tunes, just as lustily as ,1 knew | 
how, in company with .my gallant I 
followers. We marched via Abbott, ; 

Hastings, Granville, Robson, Richards. 
. Dunsmuir, Granville, Hastings and 
Gambia streets, back to the old school 
grounds, where we sang the national 
anthems of our own and Allied lands, 
and then dismissed, to join the madly 
jubilant masses which thronged the 
streets from curb to curb. The thou- 
sands of autos bedecked with such 
hurried decoration and flags as time 
allowed, filled the streets, and fol- 
lowed each other in long trains; now 
and again a huge lorry loaded with 
boys and girls, old men, and others, 
who could find no better conveyance. 



The noise- of tbe multifarious con- 
trivances Invented to demonstrate the 
Jubilance of each participant was deaf- 
'ening; some drew or rather bumped 
I old cans behind their motor cars, 
others beat cans, blew horns, waved 
flags or yelled. The old courthouse 
square, now being used for exhibi- 
tion purposes as "No Man's Land." 
• was occupied by soldiers, who, witb 
| a small anti-aircraft gun, kept throw- 
ing harmless but noisy bombs far into 
the sky, and the fire brigade answered 
twelve false alarms during the day. 
The absence of accidents among so 
<Jense a mass of recklessly happy per- 
sons was remarkable. 

But midst all this great scene of 
gladness, this abandonment to rapture, 
there was a tinge of sadness. Many 
a face that was wrinkled with laugh- 
ter for one moment, sank at intervals 
into an oppression of gravity and 
pain. There was little need to ask 
; why. Tbe newspaper tonight says 
I that 35,000 Canadians have lost their 
lives In the world war, and then, too, 
while the tumultuous crowd worked 
itself into ecstasies of joy, the "prin- 
cess Alice" steamed into the harbor 
with 100 bodies from the "Princess 
Sophia," tost last week on Vanderbilt 
Reef with over 200 souls, not one of 
which lived to tell the tale. When 
shall we again witness such an event- 
ful and memorable day? 
* ■ * . * 

November 13, 1918. 
"When I think of the British Em- 
j plre," said JjotA Milner before the 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0069 


Vancouver Canadian Club soma years 
ago, "I feel more like going into some 
corner to pray than waving a, flag in 
the street." He roust have known the 
truth, How did he discover it? 

Turning from my office sca< 
walked over to my little friend, Miss 
Rafl, one of three sisters and whose 
only brother was killed on the Somme, 
She had always a kindly feeling for 
me since I extended my sympathy 
on that sorrowful occasion, 

"Well," I said, "how do you feel." 
"Nothing worth speaking of, Major, 
rather doleful, somewhat miserable," 
she replied. Later in the day, just 
before we closed the office I again 
walked to her desk and said to her, 

"wen, how now." "Not very well, 
pretty miserable. I think it has been 
my most nnhappy afternoon," she re- 
plied. I walked silently away. As 
Tennyson says in "Crossing the Bar," 
"too full for sound or foam." 

So I went home, and after tea phoned 
Mrs. W., whose husband, one of our 
machine gunners, had been killed in 
the fight on Vimy Ridge, leaving a 
penniless widow and four little girls, 
the eldest U. She had been trying 
to find a large house to start a board- 
ing establishment The scarcity of 
bouses is due to the war, and she 
has become worn and tired with 
worry and tramping the streets in 
search of one, but she was lucky today, 

has found one, and that much ha« 
been done towards repairing the havo# 
that war has brought to her door. 

"As I walked home, after complct-i 
Ing the arrangements for the house, I 
passed a group of little children play- 
ing on the sidewalk, and one said: 
"Daddy's coming home, daddy's comin? 
home.' I have had, Major, a most mia» 
erable day," she said, 

Even an ill wind can blow good, an<% 
even glad tidings may bring sorrow, 

Gffer l& MtnArtAA^ el /fa 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0070 


(41 /«™ti (j| [*i (7J 

Our pionaor band. 

hrsl SrcisSjBu.nrf- Vane ou*t.K_- Cam bit S^Qrottndi 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0071 


Diamond Jubilee, 1897 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0072 


CVimbic Sift rounds Chuitli pitrnrt; t n i K - i m jwtmK flii«ii»:.«l«.j j^i . n.„,i,. lt.i»h«.. m i.. , F ft, „■.„„,, p , »„,,„,,, 

Arnistioe Day, 1926. 


♦ tf . 

J>< \**<*\ **-«****, tftmmttl 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0073 

1" *^ Jl 

**ur*rfi ir^iy or 

14 November 1931 - Our Pioneer Park — The Historic Cambie Street 

by Major J.S. Matthews, V.D. 


Dear old "Cambie Street"! Who of older Vancouver has no fond recollection of our earliest, and at 
one time our only park, historic, romantic, workaday "Cambie Street"? 

A plain oblong of flat, grey earth, utilitarian, unpicturesque, unadorned by monument, unrelieved 
by verdure, never named, never ceremoniously opened, which has cost us less and served us 
better than any like possession, and in whose past our rich story of civic achievement and event 
is entwined. "Cambie Street" just grew, and growing, grew with us. 

"Cambie Street" was our first playground; we have ninety-eight parks now. It was there before the 
railway, before Stanley Park, before the Parks Board was created; the "common" of our pioneers, 
the scene of all or nearly all their early assemblages, their games, their contests, their early band 
concerts. There paraded the old artillery, our first volunteers; there the gallant jack tars from the 
long since departed British fleet on the North Pacific marched and countermarched in celebration 
of the Diamond Jubilee of Victoria the Good; from its rough slope departed our contingent to the 
South African War; so did the Yukon Field Force in the Klondike gold rush days. 

Their Majesties The King and Queen, then T.R.H. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, 
visited "Cambie Street" in 1 901 , and there, too, burst forth our first cheers for them when, ten 


years later, they ascended the throne. "This is not your land," petulantly exclaimed a native 
chieftain (Chief Joe Capilano) in 1912, and gruffly ordered the manoeuvring troops to depart and 
begone, thereby settling, to his own satisfaction, and in short order, the troublesome, endless 
Indian Land question. Our splendid regiment, the Seaforth Highlanders, first displayed their gay 
uniforms on "Cambie Street." 

The first stern command, "Fall in," for the Great War was given there, and then again in 1 91 9, the 
last solemn, and, to comrades forever parting, the sorrowful order, "Dismiss" upon their return. 

It has seen untold numbers of celebrations, ceremonies, carnivals, circuses, cricket, lacrosse, 
baseball and football matches, trooping of the colours, memorial parades, civil commotion, even 
riots and battered heads. Quack doctors have thumped their drums and bawled out the 
marvellous cure-all qualities of the "pink pills for pale people." 

Astonishing as it may seem now, in the early 1880s — forty-five years ago — "Cambie Street" was a 
dark, damp jungle of luxuriant forest; towering cedars screened in everlasting gloom the habitat of 
bears, wolves and deer. An ancient Indian trail corkscrewed a shadowy, uncertain way through fir 
and maple vine to the foot of (now) Granville Street, False Creek; a tiny rill trickled through the 
solitude; hunters from the village of Granville ("Gastown") searched "up on the hill" for meat and 
sport, and finally loggers invaded the profound stillness, hewed down the largest trees, and with 
oxen "yarded" the great logs down forest trails to the nearest water — False Creek and its log 

Then came the empire builders, and afterwards the railway. The surveyors struggled to cut lines 
through the forest, then marked squares on their maps; one square they numbered "48." The 
remaining forest was cut down; the land lay destitute and empty, a disheveled confusion of 
slashings and stumps; the sun shone where it had not shone for centuries. 

Then the scorching breath of fire, the Great Fire of 1886, driven by a gale of wind, swept down on 
"Cambie Street"; noon saw writhing flame, dusk blackened ruin, darkness and night the twinkling 
lights of many fires. 

A tragedy followed, for which posterity must ever suffer. Stupid improvidence permitted the whole 
vast tract upon which our city stands to be offered for private sale; it was given wholesale to the 
builders of the railway. Of all the hundreds of vacant lots and blocks throughout that great 
expanse of virgin land, not one single acre was reserved for public use; today the densely 
peopled centre of a great metropolis lies parkless. "No. 48" alone was saved to hear shouts of 
glee succeed the silence of the age, to bear the tramp of multitudes of feet. Our pioneers looked 
on, amazed and helpless. 

Chance rather than design, and a few batsmen at the noble game of ball, principally cricket, 
saved us "Cambie Street." A young law student made the actual selection of the site, and still 
lives to receive our thanks. His name is A.E. Beck, K.C. 

This is how it happened. 

In September 1886, Mr. Beck — afterwards our first Registrar of the Supreme Court, then studying 
law at Portage la Prairie under the late Honourable Joseph Martin — decided to "follow the steel" 
to its end at Port Moody. There the old screw propelled Princess Louise en route to Victoria with 
passengers and freight via way ports of Hastings, Hastings Mill, and a little old wharf on piles at 
the foot of Granville Street, brought him to Vancouver where he disembarked. 

Former acquaintanceship with the late Major C. Gardner Johnson, ardent cricketer, and near 
relative of our first magistrate, Mr. John Boultbee, led to an invitation to make his home at their 
residence on Westminster Avenue (Main Street) near the old bridge which then spanned False 
Creek. Magistrate Boultbee's villa stood over the edge of the water, and in the dusk's imperfect 
light of the evening of Mr. Beck's arrival, he mistook that immense area of mudflats, now filled in 
and known as the Canadian National Railway station and yards, for a perfect playing field, and 
arose early the next morning eager to be upon it. Imagine the astonishment of this young prairie 
athlete when daylight revealed a great lagoon of water edged with green overhanging forest. 


The "perfect playing field" had vanished — during the night, and beneath the flowing tide. 

The simple mistake naturally caused some slight amusement, but was not without its subsequent 
value, for two months later, Mr. Beck almost inadvertently became one of the principals in an 
incident which gave us the Cambie Street grounds. 

Six months previously, in April 1886, the collections of hutments clustered around Water Street 
had been incorporated into the City of Vancouver; a city not parkless, but almost wholly park, for 
save in a portion of the West End, which was stumps, all else was verdant forest. Midst such a 
scene of primitive disorder, the location alone, much more the creation of a playing field, was a 
considerable task; however, a start was made. A petition was prepared — it had 350 signatures — 
praying that a playground be provided, and on 25 April 1887 was presented to the City Council. 

A picturesque grove of greenery stood on a point of land which jutted out into False Creek 
between Jackson Avenue and Heatley Avenue; an old Indian Encampment. It was a little 
paradise on the shore, once known as Grove Crescent, now no more. It was considered but 
discarded. The map showed a large area of land, where now stands Stanley Park, marked 
"Government Reserve," the former "Coal Peninsular" of the Royal Engineers, and it was reputed 
to have a "flat place." 

A boat was hired at Andy Linton's boat house at the foot of Carrall Street, now the site of the 
Union Steamship docks. Mr. Gardner Johnson and Alderman L.A. Hamilton — the latter being a 
member of our first city council as also chief surveyor for the C.P.R. — got in, and young Mr. Beck 
was invited to "come along" to give an athlete's expert opinion. It was a winter's day in November 
1886; they rowed towards Brockton Point. 

"Why Brockton Point?" Mr. Beck was asked recently. 

"Well, you see," he answered, "we were without funds; there was no parks board then. We 
thought something might be arranged on a government reserve without much expense. We 
reached Brockton Point, clambered over the boulder-strewn shore, and plunged into the forest, 
which stood in its original state save for such large trees as loggers had removed; there were no 
roads or trails. 

"We broke through to the far side, to the Narrows. Mr. Hamilton pointed out the beauty of the site, 
encompassed by the sea, the snow-capped mountains; and, it was level. Presently my opinion 
was asked. I remarked that it was a truly beautiful place, but would take a 'million dollars' to clear 
it; I pointed out its inaccessibility; it might make a wonderful place for wealthy men with time and 
money to spare; young men in stores and offices had neither; we should never be able to get the 
teams together; it was too far to row over for a game. There was no bridge then. 

"So we scrambled back to our boat, rowed across Coal Harbour, landed somewhere about the 
foot of Bute Street, scrambled up the old skid road until we got to Georgia Street, and then struck 
east on that narrow, muddy track. 

"Mr. Hamilton led the way, and as we walked past a desolate region of black stumps, the 
wreckage of a forest, where now stands the Court House, Mr. Gardner Johnson pointed to that 
block, and termed it 'a nice flat place.' 'You cannot have that,' retorted Mr. Hamilton, with 
assurance. 'The C.P.R. will want that for a hotel park,' so we trudged on in the mire. We crossed 
Granville Street where the Hudson's Bay store is now, and kept straight on east to where the dirt 
road ended, and progress was blocked with sticks, stones, stumps and dead branches. It was the 
corner of Richards Street and Georgia Street. 

"Before us lay a wild profusion of debris, humps and hollows; the ground sloped gently towards 
False Creek. In the distance a few houses along Westminster Avenue were visible, beyond that 
the mudflats and scattered trees, and on the horizon the green forest of what is now Grandview, 
then unnamed. We stood surveying the landscape; I climbed a stump. 'There's a C.P.R. block 
down there you could have,' exclaimed Mr. Hamilton, and he waved in the general direction of 
Cambie Street. 


"'But it slopes,' I answered. They assured me the defect could be remedied. 

"'We'll take that,' I replied. That was all. 

"'All right,' replied Mr. Hamilton, 'I'll try and get it for you.' 

"We all turned around and retraced our steps, somewhat weary with the long afternoon's 
exertions, and the prospect before us of a tedious long walk home. In those days, there were no 
street cars to speed you about; you walked or you did not go. However, we had concluded an 
eventful task, and were grateful. 

"Our choice did not meet with universal approval, for some asked, 'Why did you go so far out?' to 
which we gave the stinging reply, 'Well, it's not as far as Brockton Point anyway.' 

"After the workmen had completed the roughest of the work," continued Mr. Beck, "a group of 
cricketers, armed with picks, shovels and rakes, got together, selected a flattish place at the top 
corner, now that nearest to the Y.M.C.A. building, and diagonally across the grounds, and tackled 
the job of putting it in shape. We worked morning and evening before and after office hours. 
Among those who rolled up their sleeves, pulled out roots, collected stones and filled hollows, 
were the late Chas. Nelson, the druggist, Samuel Prenter, former harbour commissioner, James 
Schofield, M.L.A. of Trail, and many whose names now escape me. 

"At first, we used coconut matting for a pitch and, of course, when the cricket balls fell, they 
usually stuck where they dropped; the rough ground was soft and wet with seepage. Our most 
notable match, perhaps, was that of Dominion Day, 1 888, when we played a cricket match 
between Victoria and Vancouver in a downpour of rain. 

"Our dressing room was a little cabin at the northeast corner, where the late Mr. Al Larwell lived 
by himself, and allowed us to use it. His many kindnesses are a happy memory. He was very 
fond of children, was much beloved, and a good all-round sport. 

"Other well-known cricketers of that day were the late Father Clinton, E.E. Rand, C. Gardner 
Johnson, W.F. Salisbury, A.J. Dana, and Campbell Sweeny. 

"Ultimately, we moved to Brockton Point, but on Mr. Hamilton's 'block down there' countless 
thousands have since enjoyed themselves, and will continue to do so perhaps for time 

The Cambie Street grounds takes its name from the adjacent street which was named in honour 
of Mr. H.J. Cambie, first divisional engineer of the C.P.R. in British Columbia. The word "grounds" 
is an appellation common to our earlier playgrounds, but which has fallen into disuse; today, we 
call them "parks." It was first used by Mr. Thos. F. McGuigan, our first city clerk, who thus 
describes it in official records. 

Five dollars per annum was the first annual rental paid the C.P.R., but in February 1902 the city 
purchased it, paying the trustees, Lord Strathcona and Mr. R.B. Angus, $25,000. Today it is 
assessed at a value of $230,000. 

The cost of blowing the stumps and clearing our first park is illuminating. Three hundred and ten 
dollars was the price asked by the successful tenderer, William Harkness, to clear an area of 
almost three acres. Much of the levelling was done by the cricketers, more by the baseball 
players, and the prisoners of the "chain gang," under that historic character John Clough, the 
"lamplighter of Vancouver," aided, until finally, as the years passed, its slope was covered with an 
undulating sward of green grass, crisscrossed by footpaths, and kept short by the grazing of 
some tethered animal. Subsequently, it was completely levelled, and the present extensive 
grandstand and dressing room erected. 

Long straggling hutments were erected in the winter of 1 91 6 during the Great War for the use of 
the 158 th Overseas Battalion then being recruited, and used again after the Armistice as 
headquarters for the 1 1 th Canadian Machine Gun Battalion, finally to be demolished. 


It was on the Cambie Street grounds that the famous New Westminster lacrosse players first got 
the sobriquet "Salmonbellies." It was given them by an Italian bootblack, a well-known character 
about town, formerly of New Westminster, latterly of Vancouver, and who, following the usual 
custom of those days, carried his polishing outfit over his shoulder wherever he went. 

One day in the early 1 890s, the Westminster lacrosse boys came over to Vancouver for a game 
with the sticks. Vancouver gathered together a scratch team, and both teams, followed by a 
straggling crowd of pioneer "fans" assembled on the Grounds to play it off. The bootblack was 
"rooting" for New Westminster. 

The New Westminster men got the ball down towards the Vancouver goal, and tried to rush the 
net. The bootblack was "rooting" vociferously, and in his excitement yelled, "Git there, 

The epithet tickled the jocular fancy of the onlookers — everyone heard it — much hilarity followed, 
especially among the Vancouver supporters, and the descriptive nickname fitted so well that it 
has survived ever since, and in a measure has attached itself to all who hail from the old salmon 
town. In the earlier days of the salmon industry, it was centred largely on New Westminster, and 
perhaps Ladner's; not on Steveston as it was afterwards. 

Originally, the Cambie Street grounds sloped from Cambie Street to Beatty Street, and was 
levelled piecemeal, a little at a time from year to year. In 1 902, it was still in its natural slope, with 
a small grandstand on the eastern side, perhaps 100 feet long. It had been completely levelled 
prior to 1914, and the long grandstand erected. Later the present dressing shed was erected, 
before the War. 

There is a minute in the Council meetings of 1 887 prior to April 25 th , mentioning the securing of 
Block 1 05 D.L. 1 96 and Block 1 1 D.L. 181 (on False Creek shore between Jackson and Heatley 
Avenue, and flanked by Grove Crescent) which refers to these blocks being investigated for a 
park site. Mr. T. Mathews, a pioneer, says there was a pretty little space there, partly cleared, on 
the shore (See Sentell Brothers. Also first official map of Vancouver, 1886.) 

Mr. A.E. Beck once told me that the first international game of baseball on this coast was played 
on 27 June 1 887, at the time of Queen Victoria's first Jubilee celebrations, at Victoria, and 
between the Victoria "Amities" and the "Williamettes" of Portland, Oregon. He played third base. 

Illustrations suitable for Cambie Street grounds can be found in the City Archives, as follows: 

First cricket team. First City Brass Band. 

Naval parade, Diamond Jubilee, 1897. 

29 th Battalion going overseas, 1915. 

102 nd Battalion dismissing, 1919. 

6 th Regiment D.C.O.R. 1900 to 1920. 

The B.C. Garrison Artillery, about 1898. 

Trooping the colours, The B.C. Regiment, 1925. 
The Military Records are in the Vancouver City Museum. 


Not now but in City Archives. 

14 November 1931 - The lamplighter of Vancouver. 

Page 265 of the minutes of the first City Council of Vancouver contains the following: 
Council Meeting, Feb. 28 th 1887 


Fire, Water and Light Committee: 

We would recommend that John Clough be appointed lamp lighter at a salary of 
$10 per month to date from the first of March. 

R.H. Alexander, Chairman 

Report adopted. 

Moved by Aid. Oppenheimer, seconded Lockerly. 

Page 313 of the same minute book reads as follows: 

Council Meeting, April 11 th 1887 

Fire, Water, and Light Committee: 

That a lamplighter be appointed permanently at a salary of $30 per month, and 
that the lamplighter employed temporarily be paid for the number of days he 
worked in March, and that his wages as permanent officer date from the first of 

R.H. Alexander. 


Moved by D. Oppenheimer, Seconded Sanders. 

Note: coal oil lamps, not gas. 

16 November 1931 -The Great Fire of 1886. H.P. McCraney. C. Gardner 

Mr. McCraney told me a few days ago that when the Great Fire broke out at midday on 13 June 
1886, his horses, used in making the deep cutting — now that portion of Cordova Street which 
leads down from the extreme northern end of Granville Street to the C.P.R. stations and docks — 
were in their stable. Some kind person, whom he never discovered, moved them out of the 
stable, and placed them in the deep cutting for safety. The removal was not necessary — though it 
might have been — for the fire did no damage in that section. The horses were found tied to the 
wagon wheels in the cutting. 

A.C. Beck, K.C., told me that C. Gardner Johnson and Mr. John Boultbee, our first magistrate, ran 
before the fire, but were cut off and took shelter in a hollow torn out by the roots of a large fallen 
tree near the corner of Westminster Avenue and Hastings Street, and covered themselves with 
sand, gravel and earth. In some manner Mr. Johnson's leg was burned, and when Mr. Beck 
arrived in September 1886, Mr. Johnson was still in bed in his little shack near the bridge. Mr. 
Beck said he understood a burning piece of wood fell on the leg. 


Early C.P.R. dock, 1886. 

Mr. McCraney, who cut the above road to the railway, told me that the contract for the first C.P.R. 
wharf was given to the San Francisco Bridge Company. The bottom of the inlet at the foot of 
Granville Street was hard, the piles did not penetrate, but the bridge company went on with the 
work, until one night the whole structure of piles toppled over, and had to be reconstructed. 

No photographs earlier than the arrival of the first trains, 23 May 1 887, are known to me, but from 
this, together with previous descriptions given, it is now possible to reconstruct fairly accurately 
that portion of the shore of Vancouver once known as "The Bluff." 




5 February 1934 

This splendid old gentleman, probably today the foremost painter of historical incidents 
now living in North America, is practically destitute. He has an office at 602 Province 
Building, but the odd jobs of illustrating, given him by the Province newspaper, are 
debited against the rent for the office — so he gets nothing from that source, and says, "I 
have not sold a picture for two years." 

I got $75 for him last year by wiring a friend at Imperial Oil Limited, Toronto, and, after 
argument, arranged for him to apply for Old Age Pension, first being sure it would be 
granted. He got his first cheque (part month of January: $4.72) yesterday, and will get 
$20 a month hereafter. I also got $25 from a special fund, and Mayor Taylor has 
promised me $25 towards the painting of the first meeting of the first City Council; the first 
dozen figures are now penciled in on the canvas. 

And as Mr. Innes says, somewhat bitterly and with disgust, but not without cheerfulness, 
"Fancy, after fifty years in the West." 

His wife is 68 and will be eligible for extra $20 Old Age Pension, and he has a family to 
support — grandchildren whose parents are dead. 

J.S. Matthews 


4< **/ff¥- 

J &tU fy$' fat b~n ^&iJ~,y^tt% fy ttti****f % 
Aj tl^faly fay j^f At#e $&4&*~Jm a jfyx*$^e& t * 
-y&t &A day s*iut/ tenitit q£f £# a *u fit &c 

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****' J?0*^ 1 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0074 


17 November 1931 - John Innes. 

I asked Mr. Innes today if Mr. Radford ever published "that article." He replied, "Yes, yesterday, 
here's a copy." (Copy herewith.) I said, "Is it true?" "Oh, yes," replied Mr. Innes, "it's correct; just a 
sketch though." I remarked, "What an awful heading!" Mr. Innes laughed heartily. "Ha ha ha," he 
went on, "in about a hundred years from now they will discover I painted other things as well as 
Christmas cards." 



Nov, 17th 1931, 

johh mm: 

I asked Mr Innes today if Kr, Radford ever 
published "that article". He replied "Yes, yesterday, 
here's a copy, (copy herewith) I said "Is it true?" 
r, 0h, yes, "replied Mr InneE," it's correct; just a 
sketch though". I remarked "What an awful heading*". 
Ir Innes laughed hartily, "Ha ha ha, "he went on, "in* 
about a hundred years from now they will discover I 
painted other things as well as Christmas cards" 

THE VANCO UVER STAR Monday, November 16, 1931 

Cards Produced Here 
Prove Popular in U.S. 

John Innes, Noted Vancouver Artist, Starts Work on 

New Series of Christmas Paintings for 

Distribution on This Continent 


John Innes has completed another series of Christmas cards typify- 

r the West and is now drawing a set with a different theme for the 

season of 1932, His first series sold by the million in the United States. 

This Vancouver artist has had a colorful and eventful life. Probably 

no Canadian artist has painted the West so well, or so truthfully, as 

Innes, and no artist from abroad Jias approached him in the knowledge 

Trained As Engineer 
He was horn in London, Ontario, 
only son. of the late Dean Innes, 
D.D., educated at Hellmuth College, 
where he was a schoolmate of the 
late B. T. Rogers, of Vancouver. 
Later he went to England and en- 
tered King's College, Sherbourne. 
The family decided engineering was 
to be his vocation and the Imperial 
Service in India, the scene of his 
acUvitles, but as the only examina- 
tion in which he was successful was 
design, drafting and painting, he 
was allowed to study art. 

Living among a group of (Sever 
painters and sculptors he made pro- 
gress, and was fortunate in being 
permitted entry to the famous 


of his subject 

Innes is a pioneer of the West 
and knows its burning alkali plains, 
the beauty of its Northern Lights, 
the lure of its Indian Summer, the 
biting blasts of Its hi lizards, the 
odor of Its sage, its trails, passes, 
fords and mountain reaches. 

He knew the plainsman, of early 
days, the rancher, fur traders, cattle 
men, big game hunters, railroad 
contractors and engineers, many of 
whom deem it an honor to be called 
his friend. 

Innes is proud of our vast heri- 
tage, and his first essay into it was 
before the advent of a railroad and 
when Red River carts, prairie 
schooners or horseback was the 
only conveyance. 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0075 


studios of London. One in particu- 
lar intrigued him, that of Sir 
Frederic Lelghton, R.A., and he 
visited the best galleries under able 

Returning to Canada, he entered 
Dufferin Military Academy, leav- 
ing there to study engineering 
under the late Col. Tracy, of Van- 
couver, then city engineer of Lon- 
don, Ontario. He then joined a 
surveying party going to the Rocky 
Mountains, where he made many 
maps and sketches. The survey 
completed, he turned to horse 
ranching and wrangling. His break- 
ing corral and stable were in the 
old town of Calgary, east of the 
Elbow River. 

Established a Ranch 

When Calgary became somewhat 
settled he established his ranch 
near the mouth of High River, and 
when the Riel Rebellion broke out. 
he sold many horses to the federal 
government forces, and had an ex- 
citing time with his neighbors, the 
Blackfeet, whom, fortunately for 
him, refrained from talcing his 

When a man who is now a. well- 
known judge was owner of the Cal- 
gary Herald, he managed to pub- 
lish primitive cartoons in that 
journal. The publisher was sent to 
jail for contempt of court for his 
activities, and to this day declares 
that a grave miscarriage of justice 
took place, and that John Innes is 
the one who should have gone to 

Men of those days saw enough of 
Indians and pioneers without hav- 
ing paintings of them on their 
walls, so his art languished, but not 
his desire, and as Calgary grew up 
he was compelled to seek a more 
promising field for gaining a liveli- 

The Bell Telephone Co. decided to 
put in an exchange there, and 
pitched on Innes as the proper per- 
son to establish and run the plant 
He managed it for more than a 
year. At the same time he import- 
ed an engraving plant and executed 
much work illustrating the papers. 
Paper at Banff 

The telephone venture was not a 
financial success for Innes, so he 
moved to Banff, where, with 
Charles Halpin, he started a. paper 
called "Mountain Echoes". The re- 
turns did not overwhelm him and 

v «j- 4. 4. .j, 4. .». .j, 4.^,4. 

From a dry brush sketch from 
life by John Ford Clymer, maga- 
zine illustrator. 

in fact became an echo. He then 
joined the government staff en- 

superintendent, being called to 
Ottawa, Innes was left in charge 
of the park. A political sugges- 
tion was made him that did not 
appear to him as being in the best 
interests of the public, so he lost 
the position for telling the deputy 
minister what he thought of him. 
This occurred in the railroad 
building days, and it was not long 
before he was offered a position on 
the engineering staff of Ross, Mann 
and Holt, then building the C. and 
E. branch of the Canadian Pacific 
Railway. Here the late James 
Ross (later Sir James Ross) became 
interested in the forceful sketches 
Innes made in odd times on slips 
of paper. The season having ended, 
he left railroading and joined the 
staff of "Prairie Illustrated" as 
cartoonist and engraver. 

Stranded in New Westminster 
This paper was created for elec- 
tion purposes. The election won, 
it silently gave up the ghost, so 
Innes painted and journeyed hither 
and yon until he received a call to 
New Westminster to illustrate the 
Ledger under William Bayley. With 
the easy grace that characterized 
the papers of those days it became 

gaged in developing the National defunct and Innes was left strand- 
Park. George A. Stewart, th» ed, with an engraving plant on his 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0076 


The only thing to do was to 

lunch another publication, and 
thus the "Hornet" was plunged into 
the maelstrom of public opinion. 
The editor was the late A. M. R. 
Gordon (MacGregor Rose), a par- 
ticularly brilliant Writer, It was 
in the 1'Hornet" that his much 
etuoted verses on the Kaiser "Metn- 
self und Gott," were printed. The 
only thing wrong with the "Hornet" 
was that the staff had appetites 
and the advertisers a penchant for 
delayed payments. So, Innes paint- 
ed more pictures, some of which 
sold, many more did not. However, 
he was awarded a silver medal in 
1893 and carries it as a pocket 

Toronto lured him away from the 
wild and woolly west, where he 
free-lanced, till Mr. Bernard Mc- 
Evoy (Diogenes), at that time 
editor of the weekly edition, gave 
him the position of staff artist and 
special writer on the Mail and Em- 
pire. It was then his pictures be- 
gan to he shown at the Royal 
Canadian Academy and Ontario 
Society of Artists exhibitions. 
Went to Boer War 

But the west was calling, and in 
' 1899 he packed his duffle and hit 
the trail for Calgary, riding the 69 
miles to the B-U ranch for the fall 
round-up. This trip was produc- 
tive of many canvases. In the 
meantime the Boer War broke out 
^nd he enlisted in the Canadian 
Mounted Rifles bound for Africa. 
While there he made copious notes 
and sketches which were purloined 
by some misguided Tommy at 
Halifax. Upon his return to To- 
ronto h« recreated the notes and 
sketches and they appeared weekly 
in the Mail and Empire. He re- 
ceived a medal with three clasps 
for services rendered fighting In 
hot spots on the veldt. 

In 1904 he was elected a member 
of the Ontario Society of Artists, 
The following year he was running 
a pack train through the Rockies 
in company with the late John P, 
McConnell (part owner of the old 
"Saturday Sunset") and John 
Miller, a prospector. 

The trip ended with men and 
horses on Hastings Street, Vancou- 
ver. This episode was the founda- 
tion of a great many pictures. 
Shortly after returning to Toronto 
he received a call as staff artist for 
the Hearst Sunday Magazines, New 
York City, and it was not until 
1913 that the west enticed him to 
return. It was that year he be- 
came cartoonist for the Vancouver 

His cartoons of the Great War 
were widely copied, in the Literary 
Digest and other journals. In one 
instance a foreign power ordered 
several thousand extra copies for 

Historical Events 

Since the war Innes has been busy 
and produced many canvases. Hie 
pictures of historical events Jn 
British Columbia was the gift of 
the Hudson's Bay Company to the 
University of British Columbia. 

Then came that fine pictorial 
series the "Epic of the West". Thes« 
were exhibited in a specially erect- 
ed gallery at the Hudson's Bay 
Store on Granville Street. These 
were purchased by the company 
and shown in Lieipsiz, Germany, 
last year at the Fur Congress, and 
met with much favorable comment. 
They arc now in London, England, 
and were, shown by the Canadian 

government not long since. His last 
achievement is the "Epic of Trans- 
portation". Twenty-one large can- 
vases, following the growth of the 
west and the means of transporta- 
tion from the trail of wild animals 
to the modern railroad. 

Innes is a thinker, etcher, scenic 
artist, illustrator, cartoonist, choir 
master, prospector, short - story 
writer, historical painter, inventor, 
traveller, soldier and poet. 

His life has been full of interest, 
movement, thrills, ambition, end- 
less hard work amid bitter disap- 
pointments. He is one of the most 
versatile of men and gives freely 
of his extensive store of informa- 
tion to those who ask it of him 
and has helped many a struggling 
artist on his way to success. 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0077 


HDJ&t~.J AiV V *xtto 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0078 

19 November 1931 - John Clough. The chain gang. The lamplighter of 
Vancouver. Our first jailer. The Great Fire of 1886. 

Called on Mr. Edgar Clough, son of Frank Clough and nephew of John Clough, at 255 Broadway 
West. Mr. Clough is now perhaps 60. 

He told me that John Clough was born about 1847 at Willoughby, Lincolnshire, and was buried 
there in 1 91 0. He left England in 1 869 at the age of 22, and went to New York, where he engaged 
with a Mr. Jones to drive stock through to California. A trip such as this took two years, the stock 
would rest, then go on, rest, and then go on again; they encountered Indians, had to make wide 
detours to avoid them, etc. He then went to the diggings in Sacramento, California, was 
successful, or lucky, digging gold, made a stake of $16,000, and then came to San Francisco, 
where he bought passage back to England, but meeting with other miners, had a jolly party, a 


"spree," and lost his passage. The vessel was afterwards destroyed by fire at sea, and all hands 
lost. "Uncle John," said his nephew, "used to say, 'You can't tell me that drink ever did me any 

Then he came to British Columbia, went to the Cariboo, but was not successful. He was 
afterwards foreman for Onderdonk, who built the C.P.R. right of way in part of B.C., and there it 
was that he lost his arm. He went back to examine a blast — they used black powder in those 
days — which had not exploded. It exploded just as he reached there. For a year or so, Mr. 
Clough, his nephew said, that he had no knowledge what his uncle did, but he was ultimately 
taken on (March 1 887) as lamplighter in the city of Vancouver (see minutes City Council and 
previous narratives herein). He carried a light ladder for this purpose. 

Previous to this he had been City Jailer — of a sort. When the Great Fire of June 1 3 th broke out, 
Chief of Police Stewart had the prisoners in a tent tied to stakes. Clough was ordered to cut them 
loose, which he did, as the fire was driving down on them. 

Mr. Clough could not say exactly when his uncle's duties as lamplighter ceased, but presumed it 
would be when the electric light was installed later in the year 1887. He remembers seeing 
numbers of lamps — scores of them, he said — in an old back room at the City Hall on Powell 
Street. They were coal oil lamps, of galvanised iron, about seven-inch base, with circular sides 
sloping up to the base of the burner, which burner screwed in to the galvanised container. They 
had a glass chimney, of course. The whole lamp was inserted in a glass protection, shaped 
somewhat like a keystone, on the top of the street lamp post. (A photo of one can be seen in the 
photo of the first parade of soldiers in Vancouver, Dominion Day, 1887.) 

"Mayor Cope," related Mr. Clough, "used to relate about my late uncle that, one night in 1894, 
when the City Council had been sitting late, after 1 1 p.m., he came out of the Council Chamber 
and saw Mr. Clough sitting there, and said to him, 'Why, John, why are you still here, why not go 
home,' to which John replied, 'Someone has got to stop to put these lights out, and save the city 
expense.' The habit of lighting the lamps had become so engrained," said Mr. Clough, "that my 
uncle had forgotten for the moment that the lights were electric lights. 

"My uncle was a character, a great character," said Mr. Clough. He never had any money for the 
reason that, if he could stop it, by furnishing the money for her fine, he would never allow a 
woman to be locked up, and, as men were often discharged from jail in a penniless state, he 
often "staked them." 

The chain gang was a gang of prisoners which consisted of any prisoner who had been 
sentenced to three or four months or so imprisonment, and I recall as recently as 1 900 or 
perhaps later seeing the wagon in which they were taken to work every day, coming at a snail's 
pace up the main streets of Vancouver. As a rule they avoided the principal streets, but this was 
not always possible. The men sat lengthwise on seats, John Clough driving, picks and shovels 
with them; a mournful spectacle, but apparently a happy body of men from outside appearances, 
which remark Mr. Clough the nephew confirms. The chain gang worked on the construction of our 
lanes; they must have constructed a very large number in the West End, Fairview, Mount 
Pleasant, and the East End west of Grandview. 

The men took their lunch with them, and during noon hour could be seen sitting on stumps or logs 
enjoying the meal. My recollection is that Mr. Clough treated them very kindly; he may have 
carried a rifle or revolver, but it was never seen; the men wore leg irons. 

Mr. Clough, the nephew, said he had often driven the wagon for his uncle. Grady succeeded Mr. 
Clough as chain gang foreman, Mr. Clough being pensioned off when the Police Department 
moved to the new jail on Cordova Street East. 



Shelter fa damb 
(o>) 1oj>o(-Layr)hpo$L) 

y fhches t 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0079 

Mr. W.M. Horie, of Baynes and Horie, tells me that the chain gang worked on streets around 
Balsam, York and First Avenue West in the winter of 1 907. Grady was then in charge, and used 
to come to his house appealing for gloves, overcoats, etc., etc., "for my poor fellows, some of 
whom are not properly clothed for this sort of weather." 


19 November 1931 - Granville and Seymour streets. 

In the early 1 890s and later, a shallow valley existed under, approximately, the corner of Granville 
Street and Dunsmuir Street. Mrs. J.R. Seymour, accompanied by Mr. Seymour's sister, Emma 
Seymour, once went gathering skunk cabbage in that shallow ravine, took a good armful home, 
thought they looked beautiful flowers, but could not understand where the awful smell came from 
as they carried them. They were then new arrivals in Vancouver. This ravine ran diagonally 
northeast and crossed Seymour Street between Pender Street and Dunsmuir, where, for years, 
the sidewalk on stilts was high above the ground beneath. The tree tops grew about to the level 
of the sidewalk, this is, second growth willows, etc. Old photos will illustrate the exact contour. Mr. 
J.R. Seymour was one of our early druggists and a well-known public man. In 1 931 he was living 
in the 2000 block on Whyte Avenue, Kitsilano Beach. One of his two sons is a barrister in St. 
Catharines, Ontario, the other superintendent of the Edmonton General Hospital; his two 
daughters are unmarried. See Who's Who, 1923. 

J.S. Matthews 

J.R. Seymour. 

Of Mr. Seymour's two sons, one, Ainslie, was captain of the Vancouver High School Cadets, 
which made the trip to Australia in 1912; the other, Murton, was one of those interested in the 
very early aeroplane owned by Mr. Stark, photo of which is in the Archives, which is claimed to be 
the first aeroplane in Vancouver which flew. It was a queer looking contraption with the engine 


beneath the wings, the pilot's seat in front, and the propeller in rear, and was entirely without a 
cabin, the pilot sitting out in front on a framework of bamboo poles. It flew from Minoru Park, 
afterwards was equipped with pontoons, and actually rose out of the water of the First Narrows 
and flew over English Bay. 


20 November 1931 -Waterworks. Boultbee. Hastings Sawmill. Commercial 

Mr. Robinson, City Librarian, told me today that the Town Planning Commission had called him 
on the phone asking for the names of some Waverley novels, as they wanted to name some new 
streets. I rushed down to City Hall and saw Mr. Harrison, the secretary. He told me that 
Commercial Drive was now curved at its southern end, near Clark Park, whereas formerly it went 
south, then east, then south again, and that the curved shortcut, formerly a cutting made by the 
B.C. Electric Railway, would be named Commercial Drive, which would leave the short street 
running north and south from 1 5 th Avenue to 1 8 th Avenue, east of the cutting, without a name. 
They had selected a name out of a book, one which, I think he said, was the old name for 
Scotland. I protested very mildly, and he asked me what name I suggested. 

I said, "How about Hendry," in honour of the manager for many years of the Hastings Sawmill. He 
replied, "Too near Henry." I suggested, "Boultbee." He replied, "Excellent," after I had made the 
necessary explanations. They follow. 

John Boultbee was our first magistrate. He lived for some years on Westminster Avenue, east 
side, near Westminster Avenue Bridge across False Creek. Very nearly opposite lived the well- 
known C. Gardner Johnson, his brother-in-law, in a small cottage or shack. Magistrate Boultbee's 
house stood over the water of False Creek, now filled in and used as flower beds for C.N.R. 

Lieutenant Colonel F.W. Boultbee, who afterwards commanded the 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R. about 
1907 to 1910, was in the earlier days a clerk in the Vancouver Water Works, a private company, 
and when the city took over the water works, about 1 892, F.W. (commonly called "Tom") became 
first city water works chief clerk, or office manager, and he remained as such until he resigned 
about 191 3 — about 21 years. 

A son of John Boultbee is E.L. Boultbee of Macaulay Nicolls and Maitland, real estate. 

The history of the water works of Vancouver would not be complete without some reference to 
the Hastings Sawmill flume which, in very early days, conveyed water for the Hastings Sawmill, 
Burrard Inlet, then practically the only settlement on that inlet. 

The old flume ran from Trout Lake westerly, and when the Great Northern cut the deep cutting 
through Grandview to bring their trains to Vancouver, traces of the old flume were unearthed, 
according to Mr. T. Sanderson, now of the B.C. Mills, Timber and Trading Company (1931) who 
says he recalls seeing sections of it. The flume then continued along the head of False Creek in a 
northwesterly direction to the Hastings Sawmill. The old map in the City Archives, signed by 
Mayor MacLean and dated 1886, shows the water tank at the Hastings Mill. The flume ran 
through the forest, was a privately owned affair, never had anything to do with the city of 
Vancouver. The Hastings Sawmill had the logging rights over the adjacent territory, and when 
they sold such property as they possessed, retained Trout Lake and its environs for the water. 
Afterwards, between 1920 and 1925 approximately, they presented it to the city, who have 
converted it into a park. This lake is within a few hundred feet of the short street which it is 
proposed to rename. 

Messrs. Raymur, Alexander and Hendry were successively managers of the Hastings Sawmill. 
The two former already have streets named after them; that of the latter was not acceptable as 
already explained. Hence, Boultbee, the name of a pioneer family of distinction, one of whose 
members was closely identified with the early water systems, suggested itself. 


It is appalling to think that with so many historical names available by which to honour our 
pioneers, that recourse should be books of fiction for names. The changing of historic names, 
some given in the very earliest days, to gratify the fanciful whim of some newcomer temporarily in 
power, and with a mad penchant for systemising everything, and devoid of any spark of emotion 
or romance or affection for our forbears, is deplorable. The changing of Grove Street to Atlantic 
Street is an instance of it. 


25 November 1931 - Early Vancouver Public Library. George Pollay, first 

The widow of our first librarian, Mrs. Janet S. Pollay, having written me that she desired me to 
call, I went to 743 East 18 th Avenue, where she resides with her niece. She is now 90; she must 
have been a great little lady in her prime. I asked her how it was that Mr. Pollay came to receive 
the appointment of librarian; she had said that his occupation was that of cooper. She replied that 
he was a great reader. He was at one time a Methodist, but accepted in later years the teachings 
of Emanuel Swedenborg, 1 688-1 772, of Stockholm. She showed me a copy of this writer's book, 
The True Christian Religion, published in London, England in 1867, and said that Mr. Pollay was 
sent a complete set of his works — as a gift, all he had to do was pay the freight — and that 
perhaps they may be in the library yet. I read to her Mr. H.P. McCraney's account, dated 14 
October 1 931 , of how the public library started, and she nodded acquiescence and added that 
her husband was asphyxiated in the mining accident, his body brought from Discovery, B.C. to 
Atlin, that he was chaplain of the Arctic Brotherhood when he died, his funeral consequently 
conducted with considerable ceremony, and afterwards his remains placed in the Atlin Cemetery. 
She gave me one of his letters, dated Discovery, 9 December 1911, to his nephew Robert 
Nightengale, which commences with the words, "Life, and its manifold manifestations is the most 
wonderful of all other phenomena," etc. Mr. Pollay died at Discovery in June 1912. She told me 
that their first home (which they built themselves) was at the corner of Gore Avenue and Hastings 
Street, and that the site was subsequently sold by them, and upon it was built the First 
Presbyterian Church. She remarked that it was a peculiar coincidence that a man of so pious a 
turn of mind as Mr. Pollay should sell his home for the purpose of building a church on its site. 

Mrs. Pollay, who had been engaged, at 90 years of age, in washing dishes when I arrived, then 
revealed the purpose of her desire for my call. It was to present me with a chronicle which she 
herself had written, at my former suggestion, of the circumstances under which the first library 
started. It read as follows, and is now preserved in the archives. 

743 1 8 th Ave. E. 

November 21 st 1931. 

Mr. Matthews, 

Dear sir: 

When you called on the 23 rd Oct I was deaf; my hearing is good again. I 
will tell you about the beginning of the first library. 

In 1888, on the south side of Cordova Street between Abbott and 
Cambie Street upstairs, in a small building. Two rooms were secured. Mr Devine, 
sen. and his son Harry T. having another room for business on the same floor. 
Mr Jackson jeweler had a little place at the east side of the entrance, to the stair 
no door to it & Mrs Hannafin milliner on the west side of the entrance. [In error, 
was over Dunn's. Criticism, H.P. McCraney.] 


Rev. Finnis Clinton (Fiennes-Clinton), Rev. W. Pedley, Father Fay, Dr 
McGuigan, Dr Bodinton (Boddington) [not here at commencement. Criticism, 


HP. McCraney.], Carter Cotton (F.C. Carter-Cotton), Mr Powell, Mr Hearshal 
[Hersberg. Criticism, H.P. McCraney.], Mr. Mouat, Tom Dun (Dunn), Mr 
McCraney (H.P.), George Pollay. 

Mr Alexander handed in the books they had in use from the Hastings 
Sawmill. He was manager and their reading room was given up, at the Mill, and 
go to Cordova Street rooms. 

To publish their endeavour a few lectures were given by Dr McGuigan 
and Rev. W. Pedley & C — and George Pollay had charge of the reading matter, 
& was first librarian. No salary attached to it till it was in progress two years 
before the City gave any help. 

Truthful account 

Janet S. Pollay 

743 1 8 th Ave E. 

Mrs. Pollay preserves her faculties, conversed freely, and naturally, at her age, somewhat feeble. 
She receives the Old Age Pensions allowance of $20 per month, but protests it is not, in her 
case, "Old Age," but an allowance as a pioneer. Her personal estate, she said, was almost 

Mrs. Pollay was born August 5 th , and in 1 931 was 90. She was 92 on 5 August 1 933, and still 
residing with her niece Mrs. M.M. Nightingale, 743 East 18 th Avenue, Vancouver. 

A framed photograph of Mr. Pollay is in the Public Library. 

26 November 1931 - C.P.R. Reserve on False Creek. Cambie Street. Homer 
Street. The Imperial Oil Company Limited. 

In 1 899 to 1 903 (the writer was a clerk in their employ), the Imperial Oil Company Limited, a 
company formed on 1 January 1 899 by the amalgamation of a group of Canadian oil companies 
controlled by the Standard Oil Company, with the old Imperial Oil Company Limited, had a 
warehouse at the foot of Cambie Street, where it still occupies an enlarged premises on the same 

They had one team of horses which pulled a "gooseneck" low-hung wagon, usually loaded with 
cases of "Eocene," "Pearl," and "Astral" coal oil in barrels and cases, and was the only warehouse 
supplying oil (in Vancouver) for illuminating purposes. It was a monopoly. 

Bud Mulligan, the former, made a personal arrangement with the C.P.R. Land Department for the 
use of all their land between and bounded by Cambie and Homer streets on the north and west, 
and False Creek on the east up as far as the roundhouse, for grazing the team of horses on 
Sundays. The charge was $1 per year, and they were to maintain the fence, a ramshackle affair, 
on Homer Street and Smythe Street — the other side, where the railway passed, was unfenced. 

The ground was a rough pasture, quite well covered with grass, some small trees 10 or 20 feet 
high, willows, elms, etc., and must have been in extent 20 or 25 acres. 

Most of the area thus rented was afterwards built upon, and large warehouses with tracks now 
stand there. At the corner of Homer and Smythe streets, a park for recreation and baseball 
games was in operation for several years, and it was there that the memorial services for H.M. 
King Edward VII were held in May 1911, and also where the Japanese sailors from the warships 
Aso and Soya (captured Russian warships) were entertained. Since at least 1920, it has stood 
barren and bare, until 1 931 when a new warehouse has been erected on Homer Street at the foot 
of Nelson Street. 

28 November 1931 - Lieutenant Colonel William Hart-McHarg. 


At a Canadian Club luncheon to Lord Northcliffe held in the old hall, upstairs at the southwest 
corner of Howe and Pender streets about 1 91 or 1 91 1 , Colonel McHarg acted as president. I sat 
on the opposite side of the table, facing them. The following titbit was overheard: 

Colonel McHarg: "How many newspapers have you now?" 

Lord Northcliffe: "Thirty-four." 

Colonel McHarg: "What policy do you adopt with your opponents?" 

Lord Northcliffe: "Never mention them. You see, no matter what you say there is always someone 
who disagrees with you, and then you have helped your opponent. If you even mention his name 
you have given him a certain amount of advertisement." 

J.S. Matthews 

At the time of this conversation, Lord Northcliffe owned the London Times. 

28 November 1931 - The Canadian anthem, "O Canada." 

Mr. J.R.V. Dunlop (Jim Dunlop) who has now been secretary of the Vancouver Canadian Club for 
approximately twenty-two years — almost since its inception about 1908 — told me some time ago 
that "O Canada" (Buchan version) was composed by General Larry Buchan in the berth of a 
Canadian Pacific Railway sleeping coach during a sleepless night. General Buchan was returning 
east after a visit to his brother (manager of the Bank of Hamilton on the corner of Hastings and 
Hamilton streets) in Vancouver. Ewing Buchan, the brother, was one of the first presidents of the 
Vancouver Canadian Club. 

Mr. Dunlop said that during General Buchan's visit to Vancouver the suitability of the wording of 
previous versions had come up, and General Buchan, being troubled with sleeplessness, took 
advantage of the first night after leaving Vancouver on the train to compose a new version. The 
manuscript was kept by him until he reached the east, and then returned to his brother who, 
together with one or more others, made some slight alterations, and returned the manuscript to 
General Buchan. The corrected manuscript soon afterwards appeared in printed form on cards 
before each guest or member at a Vancouver Canadian Club luncheon. It was first sung at a 
Canadian Club luncheon in Vancouver by three gentlemen — Captain James Sclater of the 6 th 
Regiment D.C.O.R., Captain W. Hart-McHarg of the same regiment, and a third member of the 
club whose name I do not recall — this being the method of introducing it. This was the first 
occasion upon which it was publicly sung in Canada. 

I distinctly remember the cards at the luncheon to Lord Northcliffe, afterwards, or then, proprietor 
of the London Times, held in the old hall upstairs at the corner of Howe and Pender Street West. 
This would be about 1 91 or 1 91 1 , but it was sung long before this, because the first time I 
attended, I was a stranger and sat at a lower table with a friend, but when Lord Northcliffe 
lunched, I sat across the table, in front of Lord Northcliffe and Colonel McHarg who I think was 
vice-president and acting for Ewing Buchan, president, but absent. 

J.S. Matthews 



1 am almost sure the third gentleman was a Mr. Milne, and I thought his names was 
James, but perhaps it was Andrew. Andrew Milne, who died about 7 October 1 943, was a 
vocalist who came to Vancouver in 1 907, and was for 34 years organist of St. John's 
(Presbyterian) Church. Captain James Sclater was very Scottish, too, and a first class 
vocalist. Captain Sclater and Captain McHarg were fellow officers in the old 6 th Regiment 


D.C.O.R. and he sang well too. It may be that it was that three vocalists, all well and 
closely associated, were the three gentlemen. 

Anyway, I know, positively, of two, i.e. Captain Hart-McHarg and Captain James Sclater, 
for I was an officer, too, of the old 6 th , and so keenly interested in the doings of my 
seniors — I was a lieutenant. 

It may be that it was Andrew Milne. His daughter, Mrs. Brunt, told me her father, Andrew 
Milne, was always very prone to sing "O Canada" whenever he saw an opportunity, and 
always used the Buchan version. She did not know the words of the weir'(d) version" but 
could repeat those of the Buchan version "off by heart." 


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28 November 1931 - Kitsilano, street names. 

It was, according to Mr. J.H. Calland, formerly alderman, and a very early resident of Kitsilano, 
Miss Bulwer, niece of Mr. Henry Bulwer, formerly a rancher of Mission City, latterly of Kerrisdale, 
retired, who suggested the names given to six of the well-known streets of Kitsilano, Trafalgar, 
Balaclava, Blenheim, Waterloo, Collingwood and Alma, formerly otherwise known. This was in or 
about 1909. 

During a conversation at his early home on the waterfront at the corner of Trafalgar and Point 
Grey Road, the question of street names came up, and Miss Bulwer said to Mr. Calland, "Why not 
call them after battles?" A selection was made. 

"So," said Mr. Calland, "I chose the best name" (Trafalgar Street) "for my own street, and 
afterwards approached the City Council, who put the matter through right at once. There were six 
of them." 

J.S. Matthews 

J.H. Calland of Kitsilano. 

J.H. Calland came to Vancouver in 1888, and in 1902 was conducting a small real estate 
business on Hastings Street opposite [the] Strand Hotel. One day, a gentleman came into his 
office and said he was going to buy a ticket on the "Derby" Sweepstake, and made a present of it 
to a Mrs. Kenworthy, saying that tomorrow was her birthday, she would be 40, and he and Mr. 
Calland went over to the Strand bar, where he bought ticket No. 40. Mr. Calland said he would 
take 41 , so he bought No. 41 , both paying one dollar. That evening, Mr. Calland was offered $600 
for his ticket, on Mrs. Calland's advice refused it. He won the sweepstake, and with it $1 ,200, I 
think it was, a larger sum in those days than now. (The name of the Derby winner was "Ardcastle" 
or "Hardcastle.") Afterwards, with this and other money, he bought his estate, some hundreds of 
feet of waterfront on Point Grey Road between Trafalgar Street and Stephens Street. Soon 
afterwards, Mr. C.G. Major of New Westminster said to Mr. Calland, until then a perfect stranger, 
"I wish you would sell some property for me, you seem to be lucky," and as a result, according to 
Mr. Calland, the English Bay bathing beach became the property of the city of Vancouver. Prior to 
that time, bathing had for years been indulged in at English Bay, and Simpson's boat house 
operated at the foot of Denman Street, but the foreshore was privately owned. In early years, a 
by-law to raise funds to purchase several acres there had been submitted to the electorate of 
Vancouver, but it failed to pass. As soon as Mr. Major's property was placed in the hands of Mr. 
Calland, he approached the City Council, with the result that much of the foreshore where now 
stands the bathing pavilion was purchased for the city. At the time, there were a number of small 
cottages west of Denman Street on the shore between Beach Avenue and the beach, and also a 
large private club, the English Bay Club. All were pulled down, but not so with the property on the 
shore nearer to the park. That was built upon, including the huge Englesea Lodge apartments 
among other buildings, an unfortunate occurrence. 

At the same time, Mr. Major placed a large section of Block 192 in Kitsilano in Mr. Calland's 
hands for sale, and he subsequently made approximately $50,000 out of it. "That dollar set me 
up," said Mr. Calland once. 

Subsequently, Mr. Calland sold nearly all his beautiful waterfront site, piecemeal — by many 
considered the most beautiful home site in Vancouver — retaining a small portion only as his 
home. One of the most vicious taxation outrages was perpetrated: for years, he was taxed not as 
a residential site, but as a very valuable waterfront or dock site. Mr. Calland once stated to me 
that he paid as much taxes as a steamship company. Finally, it was remedied, but not until after 
he was much reduced in circumstances. 



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30 November 1931 - Opening of Stanley Park, 1888. Burrard Inlet. Visit of 

One of the features of the ceremonies in connection with the visit to Stanley Park by Lord Stanley 
was an excursion trip for Lord Stanley of Preston (the Earl of Derby afterwards), probably the first 
excursion on the waters of Burrard Inlet. The C.P.N, steamship Princess Louise was used. Lord 
Stanley was accompanied by his son, the present Earl of Derby, as A.D.C. [aide-de-camp], and 
who afterwards became such a distinguished statesman, and originator of the "Derby Recruiting 
Scheme" during the Great War. 

In 1 931 the Earl of Derby wrote that he had searched his own and his mother's papers for 
documents, etc. relating to the opening of Stanley Park, but could find none. 



The slogan, "One hundred thousand men in nineteen-hundred and ten." 

A widely adopted slogan used in Vancouver commencing with about 1 907 or 1 908. It was 
extensively used for advertising purposes, in newspapers, on printed cards in shop windows, and 
in almost every conceivable way in which advertising can be used; it was on everyone's tongue, 
on "band wagons," etc., etc. A noisy club of young bucks known as the "Booster Club" on one or 
two occasions drove around the streets in a tallyho, plastered with streamers painted, "100,000 
men in 1910," beating a drum, and yelling the slogan in unison. At the time it was started, the 
population must have been about 75,000, and there remained but two or three years to attain 
100,000. It was about the time of the height of the real estate boom; everyone was excited about 
Vancouver's phenomenal growth; there was much wild speculating; a boom peril was flourishing; 
sane men — those who kept their heads — were few, and not over popular. But the slogan did good 
work for Vancouver. The objective was attained before the year 1910 was reached. 


The "Jungle" of 1931. 

Met Colonel Williams of "Jungle" fame and read to him my notes of October 1 9 th , asking if they 
were correct. He replied, "yes, but too much 'Williams.'" 

Major Matthews: "Is what I have put down true?" 

Colonel Williams: "Yes." 

Major Matthews: "If you had not arisen from your desk, gone to the window, seen the legs 
disappearing, and fished those men out from under the rails, would the 'Jungle' ever have been?" 

Colonel Williams: "No." 

Major Matthews: "Why?" 

Colonel Williams: "Because the harbour police had orders to clear them out. But you must 
remember that after it was started, Mr. McClay" (Sam McClay, the chairman of the Board of 
Harbour Commissioners) "got very interested. The soup would never have been there as 
regularly as it was if it had not been for Mr. McClay. If it did not arrive on time, he went up and got 
it in his motor car, and when he was away he paid for it being brought down. Then 'Kennie' 
Burns" (Mr. Kenneth J. Burns, superintendent) "did nobly." 

It is appalling to reflect that, in this heyday of democracy, when every jack is as good as his 
master, midst a confusion of countless institutions, societies, committees, orders and what not, 
for the promotion of almost every benevolent sympathy peculiar to man, and in bewildering 
profusion, it should be possible for one or more men of great heart, without any more effort than 
that of stepping to the office window, to establish on the spur of the moment an odd coterie, the 
number of which rose at times to nearly 250, of able-bodied, deserving, sincere men whose most 
pressing want was food and shelter. 


30 November 1931 - The first Dominion Day (1 July 1887.) Indian canoes. 
Early Burrard Inlet. Waterfront illuminations. 

In an article which was printed about the last day of June 1 930, on our first Dominion Day 
celebrations, I referred to the waterfront illumination on Burrard Inlet in the evening, and of which 
Mrs. J.Z. Hall (Sam Greer's daughter) spoke as being so beautiful. Mr. A.E. Beck today told me 
more about this. 

Mr. Beck said, "We had two strings of Indian canoes, each string of fifteen canoes towed by a tug, 
a steam tug. In the centre of each canoe was a small mast, and a line of Chinese lanterns were 
suspended from the mast top to the prow and stern of the canoe. The lanterns were all colours. 


After dark, the two strings of canoes, with lanterns lighted, were towed to and fro over the waters 
of the Inlet, passed, re-passed, and circled around. The canoes were fairly large. The bands on 
the warships were playing, the sea was glassy smooth, the crowd watching lined the shore and 
Water Street. I have never seen a better display on our harbour, before or since. 

"We paid the Indians a small sum." 


3 December 1931 - Kerrisdale. street cars. 41st Avenue West. 

Generous, hospitable Kerrisdale! Had Carlyle lived there, midst those great hearted pioneers, 
stout men supported by that subtle encouragement which women give, he would have hesitated 
before giving expression to his famous phrase, "Man's inhumanity to man makes countless 
millions weep." 

"I helped to build the 41 st Avenue car line twenty years ago," Mr. Clampitts, the Kitsilano car 
conductor told me. "At first, we had a little 'dinky' car which ran 'jerkwater' from the Interurban" 
(Eburne to Vancouver) "to Dunbar Street. It was a wild kind of place then, but those people who 
lived there were the kindest people I ever knew. I remember one time, it was Christmas, the folks 
in some house — I forget just which one — brought us out a Christmas dinner, and we, the 
conductor and I" (the motorman) "ate it in the car. They had it all fixed up on a silver tray, with 
white napkins, silver napkin rings, silver jugs, turkey dinner, and hot mince pies. Another 
Christmas, we had five turkey dinners sent out to us by residents along the street car line, and we 
ate them in the car. I know I got 28 cigars on one day, and the conductor got 25. You remember 
Alvo von Alvensleben, the German, friend of Kaiser Bill? Well, Taylor, he ran night shift; he never 
troubled to take lunch. Every night, they never missed, Alvensleben sent him out his lunch, and," 
(with emphasis) "a glass of wine." 

There was something very beautiful about those pioneer days; the going was rough, the 
inconveniences many, but there was a sweet wholesomeness to those sincere souls who led the 
way into that primitive region, a tender sympathy, a simple faith, which has left memories which 
grow fonder and fonder as the days pass. 


3 December 1931 - The echoes of the real estate boom. 54th Avenue East. 

There is a street in South Vancouver, between old 53 rd and 55 th avenues, shown on maps — it 
was never actually a street or road — as Lalande Avenue. It was two blocks long from 
Westminster Avenue, in D.L. 652, and divided in twain four city blocks once owned by Mr. 
Lalande and associates; probably twelve or thirteen acres in all. It was about 1 908 or 1 909. 

They cleared it of forest at a cost of $2,000; the streets were not graded. Then they were offered 
and refused $120,000 for it. Later, they had, as the decline came, to mortgage it for $20,000, and 
finally lost it altogether. Then the mortgagees lost their $20,000, and still later the property 
reverted to the Municipality of South Vancouver for taxes unpaid. The trees, second growth, grew 
up again. 

Today it is a civic park, the property of the new amalgamated city of Vancouver, and part is used 
for park board nurseries and greenhouses. 

The original possessor, or one of them, Mr. Lalande, now, 1931, makes a most modest living in a 
small and obscure real estate business of humble pretence, on Pender Street and Homer Street 
corner. (See Miss Annie Morrison, Volume 3.) 

These personal tragedies have not been without their compensating benefits. It is by such 
personal misfortunes that Vancouver has, in part, retrieved the stupid improvidence which failed 
to reserve, from a vast tract of empty wilderness, adequate areas for churches, parks, schools 


and public playing grounds. The temporary affluence of many land owners was false; the value 
did not exist; the figures were visionary; their perspective had no more substance than foam on 


Clough Avenue (South Vancouver), afterwards 61st Avenue East. 

Mr. Clough, nephew of John Clough the lamplighter of Vancouver (1 887) was a friend of the 
above Mr. Lalande. 

Main Street (formerly Westminster Avenue.) 

Mr. Lalande was active in changing the name. His contention was that there were too many 
Westminsters — Westminster Avenue, Westminster Road, New Westminster, the city. Alderman 
Hepburn, an old-timer, bitterly opposed the change of historic old names, but the "boomsters" 
were riding gloriously on the crest of a great real estate wave; the soberer heads were disdained 
as fossilised; and when Alderman Hepburn publicly stated that those who sold lots "on Grouse 
Mountain" were "criminals" who ought to be in jail, a mighty howl arose, and had undoubtedly 
much to do with his defeat in a contest for the mayoralty. He was a splendid alderman, an astute 
financier, had served as an alderman for many terms, and deserved a more gracious reward. 


Early aeroplanes (approximately 1906 or 1908.) 

One of the earliest of aeroplanes in Vancouver was that possessed by Fred Clark, who bought 
the plane, and Art (Arthur) Lalande (son of the above), who supplied the engine. It was a British 
military Arvo or Alvo machine, fitted with bicycle wheels, and was purchased in St. Louis, 
Missouri, knocked down, shipped to Vancouver, and put on pontoons made by the Vancouver 
Shipyards in Coal Harbour. The propeller was enormous, and a foot wide. It never flew. The 
plane was burned when Hoffar's boat house was destroyed by fire; the engine, being elsewhere, 
was saved, and afterwards put in a motor boat. All this as related to me by Art Lalande, who says 
he does not know where Fred Clark went to. 


3 December 1931 - Kitsilano Beach, post office. 

The first post office at Kitsilano Beach was established at the time the Canadian Pacific Railway 
subdivided the area lying at the back of Kitsilano Beach, probably because at that time there was 
no mail delivery in that section, and its earliest residents had to go to town for their mail. It was 
located in a little store called "The Popular" run by a Mr. Green, just around the corner from 
Cornwall Street and on Yew Street. 

The second postmaster was Mr. Yates, who retained it from 1912 to 1927, in a little store just 
west of Yew Street on the south side of Cornwall, where he sold confectionery and played chess. 

The third incumbent is a postmistress at the same place, same business. I am informed that it 
was never known as Kitsilano Post Office, but as Sub Post Office No. 4 

4 December 1931 - His Grace the Lord Archbishop of New Westminster. 
Colonel the Most Reverend A.U. DePencier, O.B.E., D.D.. 62nd Overseas 
Battalion, C.E.F. ("Hulme's Huskies.") 

Colonel Hulme tells me that when, early in 1915, he was given authority to raise the 62 nd 
Overseas Battalion, he was completing the establishment of officers, and gave thought to the 
question of a regimental chaplain. One of the earlier overseas battalions had been unfortunate in 
the selection of a chaplain who had made himself "avoided" by too strict ideas on cigarettes, 


swearing and other "weakness of a soldier." In searching for a chaplain, Colonel Hulme relates, 
he hit upon the idea of writing to His Grace the Bishop of New Westminster, requesting him to be 
so kind as to recommend a suitable cleric of Anglican denomination. 

In his letter to His Grace, Colonel Hulme said that he desired a man of broad vision, that he was 
training 1 ,200 men, and that, among so many, it would be impossible to avoid an occasional cuss 
word; he wanted a man who would not be too fidgety about an occasional "damn," and added, 
naively, that circumstances might even arise where the issue of a tot of rum would be necessary. 
He would therefore be very much obliged if his Lordship would recommend some broadminded 

A day or so later, His Lordship appeared at Hastings Park, and, letter in hand, was ushered into 
Colonel Hulme's orderly room. 

The Bishop: " I think I have such a man, Colonel Hulme, a broadminded man, just such a man as 
you want; one whom I believe I can heartily recommend." 

Colonel Hulme: "Oh, I'm very glad, Your Lordship, what's his name?" 

The Bishop: "A.U. DePencier, Colonel." 

Colonel Hulme: "He is your son?" (Bishop DePencier had a son who had been ordained, but his 
initials were not "A.U." 

The Bishop: "Well, no, not exactly; he is the Lord Bishop of New Westminster; that's me." 

There were two broad intelligent smiles; Colonel Hulme swung around in his chair and reached 
for form "M.F.B. 287," and a few moments later, Captain the Right Reverend A.U. DePencier, 
chaplain of the 62 nd Overseas Battalion, marched out of the orderly room. 

Colonel Hulme also tells another story, that in March 1 81 5, whilst they were in training at 
Hastings Park, word reached him that the Dardanelles had been forced by the British Fleet. The 
news spread rapidly, first to the Officers' Mess, which was soon in a hilarious mood; there were 
hurrahs, etc., and the noise, being heard by the men in camp, was soon taken up by them, the 
whole camp turned into an uproar, bands turned out. That there was no truth in the rumour is 
immaterial, and the incident has little value other than to illustrate the spirit of the moment, of the 
Vancouver volunteer, and is preliminary to what follows. 

Soon word came that the departure of the 62 nd for overseas had been indefinitely postponed, and 
the information imparted to the officers as they assembled at the Mess at the conclusion of the 
day. There was dejection, an outcry of disgust, general condemnation of the Militia Department, 
and a few of the milder swear words uttered. The chaplain, Captain the Right Reverend 
DePencier, stepped outside and diplomatically went to his tent. 

Ten minutes later, he was back, and "poked his nose" in the doorway, with a quizzical look, and 
exclaimed before entering, "Well, is it all over?" 

Colonel Hulme stepped up, and profusely apologised for the rumpus, the unseemly expression, 
and the swearing. 

"Oh, that's all right," said His Lordship, "if I were not a bishop, I'd have done some myself. I've 
been out in my tent and done mine privately." 

In those days, prohibition days, a beverage known as "Near Beer" was sold; the maximum legal 
content of any liquor was 2% alcohol. "Near Beer" was served to the troops, but some kind 
brewer sent to the Officers' Mess a case of private stock, very much stronger, and it appeared on 
the table for dinner. 

Captain the Bishop picked up his glass, smacked his lips with a relish, and smiling with evident 
satisfaction, exclaimed, "Colonel, this beer seems to be getting near-er." 



1 1 December 1 931 - Grove Crescent, False Creek. First City Hall. Indians. 
Early maps of Vancouver. 

The following interesting letter, dated from San Diego, California, 5 December 1931, where he 
was wintering, comes from Mr. E.B. Sentell. Omitting the introduction, it reads: 

Grove Crescent was not my first place of pioneering. With two brothers, A.J. and F.W. 
Sentell, I came from Granite Creek Mining Camp, and arrived in Vancouver in August 
1886, and the following September built Vancouver's first City Hall, on Powell Street, now 
removed. It was midway between Columbia and Main Street. 

The first house of our own was opposite the Powell Street Square, Cordova Street, in the 
400 block, and is still there and is shown in one of the more ancient views of Vancouver. 

I purchased Grove Crescent for my brother A.J. and myself from the Vancouver Land and 
Improvement Company Limited; the late CD. Rand was agent in January 1 891 . It was 
called Grove Crescent on city plans made by Engineer L.A. Hamilton, who made the 
city's first plans. (Note: a large copy of this plan, dated 1885 and named "Townsite of 
Vancouver," is in Court House records.) 

It was covered with tall timbers, from two hundred to three hundred feet high, with 
underbrush so thick is was hard to get through, but, I should judge, was second growth 

I never knew of it as more than a dense forest when we became its owners. The only 
person who could tell me of its former history was Mr. Neil Black, of Spuzzum, B.C., now 
dead. In 1905 Alfred and I were building a section house at that place, and the said Mr. 
Black had a store there, and was one of B.C.'s real pioneers in the days when Moodyville 
was the "whole cheese" for Burrard Inlet. 

He told us our point (Grove Crescent) was, up to 1866, an Indian camp on False Creek, 
and was the spot where they had a medicine ditch, and was to them a favourite resort, 
and the land, when dug up, showed signs of a Siwash camp; vast deposits of clam shells, 
and marks of camp foundations which had been deserted. 

In 1912 the Great Northern Railway folks expropriated the 109 Block, of which we owned 
the south part, facing the Crescent, Lots 11, 12, 13, 14 and 1 5, with a frontage on the 
Crescent of about 450 feet, for $103,500 and is now all the railway yard of the G.N.R. 

I expect to be home when the days lengthen. 

(Signed) E.B. Sentell. 

"There was nothing 'medicine' about it," said Professor Charles Hill-Tout of Mount Pleasant, 
probably the most eminent ethnologist versed in Indians of British Columbia living, when the 
"medicine ditch" reference was referred to him for explanation. 

"The Indians made a regular custom of it, to get rid of a cold; it was a steam lodge. They built a 
lodge, put a fire in it and heated stones, then threw water on the hot stones, and the steam came 
off. It was a steam bath, a regular custom among them. Afterwards, the Indian threw cold water 
over himself." 

Mr. W.F. Findlay (see Carter House) said, "It was a Turkish bath. Only sometimes the effect was 
worse than the ailment. Any hole in the ground of suitable shape would do, so long as it would 
hold water. Then they would throw hot stones in the water, and they got in under the cover they 
had, and the steam would give them a Turkish bath. The trouble was they had no place where 
they could cool off as in a modern Turkish bath." 


12 December 1931 - Salmon. 

Discussing salmon today with Mr. Paul Marmette, bridge draughtsman for Onderdonk at Yale 
from 1880 to 1885 (see elsewhere), he said, "All you had to do at one time, on the Fraser River, 
was to put a hook and lump of lead on a line, throw it in the river and haul it back. The hook would 
catch in a salmon. 

"On one occasion," he said, "Mr. William Downie" (an early C.P.R. official) "was taking some 
officials east, when one exclaimed, 'Oh, look at the salmon.' Mr. Downie jokingly replied, 'That's 
nothing. You ought to have been here last year. We had to open the Savona's Bridge to let them 

Deadman's Island. The Great Fire of 1886. 

Mr. Marmette, see above, relates that after the Great Fire and whilst they were searching the 
ruins, they came upon a skeleton, and were astonished to find that all the bones were wired 
together — a puzzling occurrence in a new town of shacks. It turns out that it was the skeleton of 
an Indian which Dr. Langis had secured from Deadman's Island — presumably out of the trees, the 
Indian method of burial. (NOTE ADDED LATER: No, a Swede who committed suicide at 
Moodyville. See "Dr. Langis.") Dr. Langis still lives, 1931, at Parksville. 

Chinamen. Onderdonk. 

Mr. Marmette says it was 1 0,000 Chinamen that Onderdonk brought over to build the C.P.R. He 
recalls many of them going back, most of them, but many stayed. 

Why did he get Chinamen? was queried. 

"Well, he had to get help; there were no men to be got here." 



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12 December 1931 - Canadian Pacific Railway. Bridges. Construction of 
c.p.r. and officials. 

"The old photograph must be of the opening of the 'Mission Bridge,' across the Fraser River at 
Mission City," said Mr. Paul Marmette at "Earlscourt," Georgia Street West, today when shown an 
old photo of a large group of railway officials grouped around the end of a "Colonist" car standing 
on rails crossing a wooden bridge. "I do not know what else it could be. 

"I was a draughtsman drawing plans for bridges on the C.P.R. Line. The government constructed 
the main line from Kamloops to Port Moody, and then handed it over to the C.P.R. There was no 
celebration when the Stave and Pitt River bridges were opened; they were government 
constructed. It could not be the Kitsilano Bridge; there would be no occasion for a crowd like this 
for the opening of that bridge. Dan McGillvary constructed the 'Mission Bridge' for the C.P.R. and 
when it was opening there was a big crowd, a big spread in the camp, champagne flowed like 
water. It would be approximately 1890." 

Query: Did you get some of it? 

Answer: (with a smile) "I got some of it. 

"I worked for Onderdonk; I never heard anyone speak a bad word of Onderdonk. I was at Yale for 
five years, from 1880 to 1885, then I went down river in the old Hudson's Bay Beaver to Victoria, 
came back to Vancouver in February 1 886. I had joined the C.P.R. The C.P.R. general offices 


and Mr. Abbott were located at Port Moody; the Engineering Department was at Hastings, 
George Black's; I stayed there 18 months drawing bridge plans, etc. 

"Those I recognise in the pictures are: 

Extreme left-hand, hand in pockets: Balfour 

Extreme left-hand sitting on rails: Dan McGillvary 

Fourth man on rails, gloved hands: Paul Marmette (myself) 

Centre standing, side-whiskers and collar: Harry Abbott 

Next man standing, exact centre, beard: H.J. Cambie 

Next man standing, light coat, imperial beard: David Oppenheimer, second mayor of 

Next man standing, black fur cap: Lacy R. Johnson, Master Mechanic 

Very fat face on right: Armstrong, of Armstrong and Morrison 

On car, extreme right, bear, hat touching: T Ceperley 

Hat touching Oppenheimer's white cuff: Hugh Walkem" 

All deceased, save speaker, Paul Marmette. 

14 December 1931 - Salmon. 

"I've seen the pigs eating them in Yale Creek, up at Yale," was the comment which Mr. W.H. 
Evans, one of the crew which drew the first train into Port Moody, who afterwards was the first 
resident of the new C.P.R. subdivision to the west of Greer's Beach, and now retired, still resides 
there at 2030 Whyte Avenue, [made] when [told] Mr. Marmette's remarks re the abundance of 
salmon in the river in construction days. "They were just black in the creek. In the Fraser River I 
have seen them so thick — you have heard the expression about 'walking across the river on their 
backs,' — well, I have not seen them so thick as that — so thick you could hardly wade through the 
water without stepping on them." 

The Great Fire of 1886. Fires of clearing operations. 

"There was a second fire which alarmed the people on Vancouver, in 1887," continued Mr. 
Evans. "It was in 1 887, in the spring, about April or May, I think. I drew a freight train into 
Vancouver that afternoon, it must have been about four or five o'clock; there was great 
excitement. Went up to my room on Carrall Street, and then thought I had better go out and see 
how things were. The C.P.R. shops were on Pender Street then, back of the present B.C. Electric 
Railway offices. I saw what the situation was, so went over to my engine at the shops. Mr. 
Downie, the superintendent, came along. I took three or four cars, hitched my engines and 
started off. As I crossed Carrall Street, Jim Doige asked me to take his wife, and when I stopped 
the engine to pick her up, many women and children 'piled' up on the tender. Then I started to 
take the cars out of the yard; had to take them out two or more miles to get clear of the fire, it was 
burning all around, all around the city; people were pulling things out of buildings, furniture and 
everything else. When I got clear of the fire, I found another engine had gone out ahead of me 
with twenty or thirty cars. The wind went down again about midnight. 


1 5 December 1 931 - Granville Street, 1 July 1 900. First military camp in 
Vancouver. Royal Canadian Regiment. 

There is a photograph in the Archives showing a number of "bell" tents, such as used by soldiers, 
pitched on grass, and a column of soldiers and sailors marching down Granville Street. Its date is 
Dominion Day 1 900. The troops are going to Brockton Point for ceremonial parade and games by 
the old ferry route, where they will land in Stanley Park at an old wharf long since removed. 

This military encampment is supposed to be the first in Vancouver; old Vancouver volunteers 
concede that it must be, as they do not recall an earlier one. The sailors marching down the street 
are from Her Majesty's warships in port, and the soldiers are thought to be the 3 r Battalion, Royal 
Canadian Regiment — as the 2 nd (Special Service) Battalion, R.C.R., was fighting in South Africa, 
and the 1 st Battalion elsewhere in Canada — from Esquimalt. The 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R. is 
thought to be marching in the rear, the leading men only in the picture. 

The tents are on the C.P.R. hotel park made in 1887 which, it will be noted, is several feet below 
Granville Street. 

The big block of buildings in the centre is the New York Block, where the C.P.R. Telegraph was 
then, and where (it is believed) the Art, Historical and Scientific Society had their first room for 
their collection, now grown into the City Museum. 

The Bank of Montreal, on [the] corner, is without the addition afterwards added. Seymour Street 
is shown ten to fifteen feet higher than the old ground level. Twenty-nine bicycles appear in the 
picture, an evidence of the extreme popularity of bicycling in the years around 1 900 (see item of 
"Bicycles and bicycle paths.") A balcony is shown over the sidewalk on west side of Granville 
Street; this was an old architectural practice (see "Carter House," etc.) Note the growth of young 
fir trees on vacant lots — probably ten years old, perhaps thirteen — Granville Street was cleared in 
1887. The long wharf is the B.C. Sugar Refinery wharf just in front of Cedar Cove. Moodyville is in 
the far distance, the Yosemite, Princess Louise (one funnel) at dock, and possibly Islander is the 
steamer near. 

The liquor store is "Urquhart's." 

Note that the flags are Canadian naval ensigns, not Union Jacks (see item elsewhere), old-style 

In 1900, Granville Street was not paved; it was macadam, and in dry weather, very dusty. The 
watering carts were constantly passing up and down all day. 

The sidewalks were of planks and, frequently, when anything small, such as a coin, was dropped, 
it disappeared between the cracks. From time to time, there was a certain amount of grass on the 
edges, clover or such. Street clearers with shovel, broom and receptacle on wheels passed up 
and down cleaning up dung. 



"T P.O.MC/UIE/" 





Item # EarlyVan_v1_0089 

21 December 1931 - The Great Fire of 1886. Geo. L. Schetky. 

"It's all nonsense about the fire starting up at Drake Street; it started about Kelly Douglas's place, 
at the angle of Cordova and Water; they do say it started in some brush back of a shack there," 
said Mr. Geo. L. Schetky, when Mr. W.H. Gallagher's narrative was read to him. 

"There were hundreds of fires burning; I always thought the Regina Hotel escaped because it was 
back of the fire zone. The only thing the fire left, other than the well-known exceptions, was the 
skeleton of a building" (McLennan, McFeely's and Company) "at the junction of Powell Street and 
the C.P.R. track; it was in process of erection and the fire just there was not hot enough to set fire 
to the scantling, but scorched and blacked it; the building was afterwards covered with iron. 


"At the time, someone told me that a great tongue of flame burst forth from the Deighton House, 
and leaped in a great arch of fire and flame, clean over Carrall Street, and just licked up Scuitto's 
bake shop on the sharp corner where the Europe Hotel stands now — the apex of the triangle of 
Alexander and Powell streets. The Maple Tree, of course, was destroyed, and it was a big, old 
tree, probably two feet through." 


21 December 1931 - The first Vancouver-Westminster electric railway. 
Captain E.S. Scoullar. 

In a long conversation in the Vancouver Public Library today with Captain E.S. Scoullar, he said: 

"The Westminster-Vancouver Electric Interurban railway, now the B.C. Electric Interurban, was 
the first electric railway built on the Pacific Coast, and the second electric road in Canada; the first 
was at Ottawa. San Francisco had horse and cable cars." 


Canada Year Book, 1932, page 559, says St. Catharines, not Ottawa. 

"We were an ambitious, progressive lot in New Westminster; our idea in building it was to build up 
New Westminster, and to build up the country. Sir Charles Tupper made a speech at the old 
Colonial Hotel in New Westminster, and to a 'crowded house.' I remember his words well, 'The 
C.P.R. will never go beyond Port Moody,' he said, and that was how my partner and I put $1 0,000 
apiece into Port Moody real estate, and ... lost it. 

"At the time we organised the interurban electric railway, there were only eight of us in the 
company. Mayor Oppenheimer, Benjamin Douglas, New Westminster, Harry Elliott and John A. 
Webster, also New Westminster, Henry Edmonds, and Samuel Mcintosh, who was secretary, 
and of course myself. I forget who the eighth man was, perhaps it was John Hendry of the 
Hastings Mill. Edmonds owned all the land about Mount Pleasant, from the bridge up — about 640 

"We had quite a time negotiating for the property for the right of way, but we finally got it, for 
nothing; they gave it to us. T.J. Trapp or Geo. Gibson, or both, were our agents for buying the 
right of way. 

"The first track ran up Columbia Street, new Westminster, to the east, not to the west as now, and 
then turned north, then west towards Vancouver. We had to go that way to get up the hill; we had 
not the power that is supplied now; the cars used to groan as they started and gathered speed, 
and they were very slow at that. 

"On the top of the hill our line ran through the Clarkson Gardens — we paid $35,000 for the 
Clarkson Gardens — we simply ran the line through our own property. Then we had 1 00 acres just 
outside the city limits; we spent $100,000 clearing that 100 acres. 

"If Mr. McCraney did say that there were only three houses between Vancouver and Westminster 
at the time we ran our line through, then he is wrong; there were more than that; probably what 
he said was that there were only three stops. Our line ran up hill and down dale, a regular 
switchback through the forest. After leaving the Westminster city limits, I think the first stop was 
the power house. The car barn was at the power house, and there was a big boarding house 
there where all the men boarded, right on the job, and the cars were brought back there for the 
night. The second stop was, I think, Central Park. The third and last stop was the old city limits of 
Vancouver, 16 th Avenue, and then our track came on through the city almost exactly as it does 
now, down Park Drive" (Commercial Drive), "Venables Street and Campbell Avenue, and west 
along Hastings Street. 

"Our power was steam, generated at the Burnaby Power House. The rails were very light, just 
thirty-five pounds; I think we ran hourly. Some of our cars are still here. 


"Then we bought the Vancouver city electric lines, and paid $85,000 for them, and then the bank 
closed down on us." 

21 December 1931 -Burrard Inlet and Westminster Telephone Company. 
Captain E.S. Scoullar. 

Continuing the conversation today, Captain E.S. Scoullar said: 

"The Burrard Inlet and Westminster Telephone Company was incorporated in 1 885, just before 
Vancouver was incorporated. Joseph (Joe) Armstrong, who owned a half interest, was president 
up to the day he died; others were Albert Armstrong, Lieutenant Dorman — he was a lieutenant in 
my 'Westminster Rifles' — and myself; I am not sure, but I think there was just the four of us. After 
I had been in it for about three years, I sold my share for $1 6,000. 

"The first line we ran from New Westminster to Port Moody for Onderdonk. In 1 886, in the fall, we 
ran a line from Westminster to Vancouver. 

"We brought the line by the 'New Road'" (Westminster Road) "because it was the most direct and 
the clearer. Douglas Road was like going through a 'cutting,' a slit in the forest, forest on both 
sides. The 'New Road' was clearer; a fire or something had run through it; the bushes were 

"From the 'New Road' the line came down Westminster Avenue, and then ran to Tilley's, who, 
after the fire, had a stationery and book store on Cordova Street. There were no private house 
phones, just one line from Westminster to Port Moody, and one line from Westminster to Tilley's 
at Vancouver. We charged a toll. Our first agent in Westminster was Chas. Pittendrigh, son of the 

"We rented our first phones from a telephone company in the United States; we had to pay $85 
for each telephone, and then a royalty each month. Dorman said, 'it could not be done.' So we 
bought a lot of telephones in Germany. 

"There was no phone in Vancouver in June 1 886 at the time of the fire; Geo. Black's place at 
Hastings was not connected with a phone at the time of the fire." (Accuracy of this remark [is] 
most doubtful.) 

"At the time of the fire, it had been a very warm spring; no rain for about two months. The clearing 
operations were in full swing; the land was covered with big high piles of roots, forty or fifty feet 

"I was returning from Westminster by the Douglas Road, my wife and I driving a horse and buggy. 
The fire was so bad that we had to retreat, turned around, went right back, left my wife in 
Westminster, and came back with my brother-in-law via the 'New Road.' We were alarmed; my 
brother was in Vancouver, but he had got on a raft and went up to Port Moody on it; there was a 
westerly wind blowing, blowing great guns. 

"There is a point which I would like to make and that is that my building, which was destroyed in 
the fire, was on the west of the Regina Hotel. 

"The dynamite which Mr. McCraney took down to the Hastings Sawmill, we afterwards threw 
overboard, and it floated around the harbour for a couple of days. You see, the C.P.R. were 
building the line along the shore from Port Moody, and I was supplying them with large quantities 
of construction material." 

(The B.C. Directory, 1885, states: "British Columbia Telegraphic System, Granville to New 
Westminster, 250.) 

(Also see J.Z. Hall and J.W. McFarland re telephone, Westminster to Vancouver, before fire.) 


23 December 1931 - Greer's Beach. 

The death this week of Jason Allard, aged 83, son of Ovid Allard, born at Fort Langley, recalls my 
visit, last August 2 nd , to Derby, for the 104 th anniversary celebration of its founding. We were 
entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Alex Houston on that historic site. As we were leaving, Mr. Houston 
took my hand and said, "It did my heart good to hear you speak so of Sam Greer. It has always 
been my opinion that they did him out of his land; he got harsh treatment." 

We drove back to Vancouver in Captain J. Hampton Bole's car (son of Judge Bole), and I 
repeated to him Mr. Houston's remark. 

"Sam made one terrible mistake," said Captain Bole. "If he had not fired that gun at Tom 
Armstrong, he would have held his property. That mistake cost him the possession of the part of 
our city. Public opinion was so strong that the C.P.R. would have had to have given in; the people 
would have torn up the rails as fast as they laid them. Sam was a great Orangeman, and much 
influence was brought to bear to get him out of the penitentiary. He was a sort honoured guest 
there anyhow." (See Mrs. J.Z. Hall's remarks about how she — his daughter — used to visit him and 
take him out of the jail to bask on the river bank.) "About the same time, a Roman Catholic priest 
was put in jail for giving an Indian girl a hiding — one which she deserved, I am told — but anyway, 
the priest was put in jail, and the Roman Catholics tried to get him a pardon. I think he was from 
Mission City. The Orangemen objected unless Sam also got a pardon; they said, 'No pardon for 
one if no pardon for the other.' Both were pardoned and released; that was how Sam got out. 

"What Mr. McCraney credits Alex Henderson" (Judge Henderson, a K.C., and former 
commissioner of Yukon Territory) "with saying about Judge Begbie building the jury is probably 
correct. Alex Henderson is a clear-minded lawyer. It is all very well to have 'hanging judges,' and 
'Bloody Jeffries' in a wild territory where it is necessary to enforce respect for law. Begbie suited 
those conditions admirably, but as the land grew more settled, he became too autocratic for the 
changed conditions. He was an awful bulldozer, and towards the last grew into a sort of ogre. 
Dozens of young lawyers left on account of his behaviour to them. He tried it on my father, but my 
father was Irish, had a quick-witted tongue, and gave as good as he took, and for a time there 
was mighty little friendship between my father and Judge Begbie, but afterwards father owed 
much to Judge Begbie for the vast amount of work he passed his way." 

What Mr. McCraney said on 31 July 1931 to me was this: 

"I think Sam Greer had what we call a 'raw' deal. He was the only man in Canada who 'held up' 
the C.P.R., but they were too strong for him. Alex Henderson" (Major Alex Henderson, K.C.) "told 
me that he was at the trial, and that Judge Begbie bulldozed the jury into finding Sam guilty, and 
gave him eighteen months in gaol. Henderson said he never saw a worse case of a judge 
bulldozing a jury. We have often wondered what Sam got out of it. You see, he sold those lots at 
so much per lot, and the part which was 'down cash' was ten dollars, the balance agreement of 

Query: How much did Sam get out of it? 

"They say the C.P.R. wanted title to the land but the government was afraid to give it to them, 
fearing some after action, but said to the C.P.R. that, if they could get Sam out of the way, or at 
least if the C.P.R. would guarantee quiet possession for ten years, they would give the company 
the title. Some say Sam got $40,000 to go away. He did go away somewhere and start a hotel. 
Where did he get the money? After a period of years, he came back to Vancouver. The story may 
not be true." 

(See The Fight for Kitsilano Beach by J.S. Matthews, 24 March 1928, in City Museum.) 

"Oh yes. Mayor Oppenheimer had a lot of land in the east, and the west too, beyond Sam's place. 
Those who were in the know bought all they could lay their hands on. They knew the railroad was 
coming, and simply got it first." 


"People said that Greer slipped one over him," said Captain E.S. Scoullar, June 1 931 , formerly a 
very prominent business man of Vancouver and New Westminster, now over three score and ten, 
"and that the incident killed the old Indian agent at Westminster, Leniham or something like that, 
his name was. Leniham was old and not very alert mentally, and people said — it may not have an 
atom of truth — that Greer had two papers, one for the sale of the land by the Indians, the other for 
the sale of the improvements, and that the one for the sale of the land was slipped in front of him 
when he was not looking, and he witnessed it thinking he was witnessing one for the sale of the 

As gossip of the street, the above is interesting as showing what the gossip of the street was, but 
it must be accepted with great reserve, and the papers in The Fight for Kitsilano Beach should be 
consulted. Mr. Greer's will bears dates of 26 August 1924 and 20 September 1924. It has been 
asserted that it included $7,000 of C.P.R. bonds. 

30 December 1931 - Cambie Street, Cordova Street, Hastings Street. Mrs. 
Janet S. Pollay, relict of our first librarian. 

In conversation with this physically feeble but mentally energetic dear old lady, now 90, she 
related how, when they first started the Public Library on Cordova Street between Abbott Street 
and Cambie Street, she sometimes took a walk for fresh air, and "we just went along as far as 
Cambie Street, and then turned back; you couldn't go beyond Cambie Street, and no one would 
think of walking on Hastings Street. Oh, no. You had to look out, too; they were blowing lots of 


30 December 1931 - Union Jack, Canadian Ensign. 

In the old Hastings Sawmill Store, now in the Pioneer Memorial Park at the foot of Alma Road, 
there was in January 1932, over the fireplace, a hand-made red ensign, reputed to have been 
flown at Barkerville at an early Dominion Day celebration, and for which the claim is made that it 
is the first "Canadian Flag" flown in British Columbia. It is without the Canadian label, which, 
presumably, was a little too difficult a task for the seamstress; or perhaps the details were not 
available for her to copy. 

In the newspaper Vancouver World, a large advertisement appeared announcing particulars of 
the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of 1 9 June 1 887. It is headed by a large cut of the Canadian 
ensign (with label), not with the Union Jack. 

A photograph of a column of sailors and soldiers marching down Granville Street, and in the 
foreground an encampment of "bell" tents, is of the celebrations in Vancouver on Dominion Day 
1900. The flag most prominent on the buildings is the Canadian naval ensign, i.e. the red ensign 
with Canadian label in fly. 


30 December 1931 - The first electric railway in Vancouver. 

Mr. H.P. McCraney states, "It was finally opened in May 1 890." 

Excerpt, Daily News-Advertiser, 27 June 1890: "After a long wait, the first street car was run on 



Thursday, June 26 th 1890," and then follows some interesting details as to the speed — very, very 


30 December 1 931 - The Great Fire of 1 886. Early telephones and 
telegraphs. j.w. mcfarland, hugh keefer, w.h. gallagher. c.p.r. trains. 

The claim of Captain E.S. Scoullar that he and associates built the first telephone line into 
Vancouver can scarcely be substantiated in view of the following. 

1-That Mrs. J.Z. Hall (see elsewhere) says that Mr. Hall, her husband, told her that he had a 
telephone long before Tilley's. 

2-Mr. J.W. McFarland, manager for Hugh Keefer, contractor, construction of C.P.R. line from Port 
Moody to Vancouver: "Yes, we got the message that Vancouver was burning, by telephone. We 
were burying a man killed on the line, and were over at New Westminster. Tom Dunn got the 
message, and jumped up from the table, got a carriage at Tingley's, and dashed off. Yes, we got 
the message by telephone." 

3-ln the B.C. Directory, 1885, for "Granville," a Mr. Edwards is shown as "Telegraph Operator," 
and another man as his assistant. The rates, published in full to all parts of B.C., show 
"Vancouver to New Westminster as 250." 


"There was one train only to Port Moody, on July 4 th 1 886. Just how many there were after that I 
forget, but there were no trains in the winter of 1 886, nor 1 887; the snow sheds were not built." - 
W.H. Gallagher. (Photos of the first sheds are in the Archives.) 

30 December 1931 -The Carter House. Milk. McGeer, the dairyman. Smelts. 

Old-timers, in relating of the abundance of smelts once in the waters of English Bay, have been 
known to sometimes improve the story by adding an irrefutable morsel as a climax to their story 
by saying, "they even got into the milk" (with a chuckle). W.F. Findlay, nephew of Lewis Carter of 
the Carter House, is authority for the following, as to how this remarkable circumstance was 
possible. He says: 

"We bought our milk from Mr. McGeer, father to G.G. McGeer, Esq., K.C., the eminent lawyer, 
and famous as an advocate of 'lower freight rates' during the 'Oliver' government term of office. 
He had a milk ranch out in South Vancouver; he left us a ten gallon can each morning; that would 
be about, probably, 1890. 

"One afternoon he called, we wanted more. He said he would get some, but was short of cans; 
would we empty one; and then went away to get the milk we wanted. 

"In the winter time, Mr. McGeer's milk got pretty thin, and our fine old Chinese cook whom uncle 
employed for perhaps fifteen years, suspected it was 'watered,' so while Mr. McGeer was away, 
he emptied all but about a gallon out of the can and then, from a basket of smelts which had just 
come in, picked out four or five fish and dropped them in the can of milk now empty all but the 

"Mr. McGeer returned. The old Chinaman picked up the milk can, and proceeded — Mr. McGeer 
looking on — to pour the last gallon through the strainer, shaking his head as he did so, and 
muttering, 'Milk pretty dirty these days; how come; have to strain 'urn alia time.' Then out dropped 
the four smelts, right before Mr. McGeer's eyes, into the strainer. 

"Much protest; Chinaman [is] very indignant. 'Bossy man' wanders out to see what the 
disturbance is about; assumes magnanimous demeanour and suggests, in low modulated voice, 
that if he (Mr. McGeer) must put water in the milk, he might be reasonable and put in fresh water, 
and not just scoop up the salt chuck, (seawater) fish and all. 

"Mr. McGeer [is] nonplussed; guilty or not guilty, the evidence is against him, and irrefutable, and 
like a wise man, picks up his cane and vanishes — in silence." 


And so it is that old-timers chuckle when they tell stories of the vast shoals of smelts which once 
could be dragged ashore with a garden rake (a truth). 


30 December 1931 - Chief Capilano, 1792. Meeting of Captain Vancouver. 
Mrs. Mary Capilano, Noel Robinson. 

Some time ago, I asked Mr. Noel Robinson of the Vancouver Star and a close friend of Mrs. Mary 
Capilano, now a very old Indian woman, and whose oil portrait is in the Vancouver City Museum, 
if Mrs. Mary Capilano was actually a relative of the Indian chief who received Vancouver in 
Burrard Inlet, 1792. He did not seem certain, and promised to find out. 

On October 29 th last, he told me that he had questioned Chief Matthias of the North Vancouver 
Indian Reserve, a bright-minded intelligent native, who had assured him he, Chief Matthias, was 
sure that Mrs. Mary Capilano was a granddaughter of a brother of that Indian chief who had met 
Captain Vancouver in 1792. Mr. Robinson is highly regarded by and most intimate with the 
Indians of North Vancouver. 

(Noel did a lot of guessing.) 


How some Indians got English names. Johnny Scow, Indian, Alert Bay. 

In the summer of 1927, I spent three months at Alert Bay, and one evening was sitting on a log 
on the beach, smoking with Johnny Scow, an intelligent Indian aged probably forty to forty-five. 

"Johnny," I said, "how did you get your name?" 

"You know, Mr. Munn, Westminster, him have salmon cannery," replied Johnny, and I nodded, 
"he call me. One day long time ago, scow break away in storm at Steveston; lot of women and 
children on scow; I go fetch 'urn back scow. After that Mr. Munn he call me Johnny 'Scow.'" 

Afterwards, I asked the Anglican rector at Alert Bay what name he was using in recording the 
christening of Johnny's children. "I call them all 'Scow,'" he replied, and added, "and the same 
with Harry Mountain's children; Harry's Indian name signifies 'Mountain,' so I am christening all 
his children 'Mountain' as their surname." 

30 December 1931 - Early logging "skid roads" in Vancouver. 

1-That which ran down Cardero Street into English Bay. 

2-That which ran from the foot of Granville Street on False Creek in a northwesterly direction. 

3-That which ran from approximately the corner of Robson and Granville to the C.P.R. 
roundhouse site. 

4-That which probably ran from the Cambie Street grounds to False Creek, location unknown. 

5-That which ran from approximately corner of Granville and Georgia streets to the foot of Burrard 
Street (Elysium Hotel). 

6-That which is shown in the World of New Year's Day, 1 888 or 1 889 as being Cordova Street 
(and old picture of Cordova Street). 

7-That which ran from Eighth Avenue West and beyond, passing Eighth Avenue between Yukon 
and Columbia streets on its way to the foot of Cambie Street on False Creek. 

8-That which came down east of Main Street, Mount Pleasant, about St. Catherines Street, to 
False Creek. 


9-That which came down to Kitsilano Beach, crossing Third Avenue West about Maple Street. 

1 0-That which ran from the foot of Yew Street, Kitsilano Beach, to the corner of Second Avenue 
and Larch Street (remains still there in 1909 near St. Mark's). 

1 1 -That which ran in the general direction of Seventh Avenue from Granville (or Centre) Street 
westerly, probably joined No. 9. Ended west, foot of Vine Street. 

12-That which came down Macdonald Street to English Bay. 

13-That which came down Balaclava Street to English Bay. 

14-Several ending at Fraser's camp, Jericho. (See old Admiralty charts.) 

Others there undoubtedly were, but of the above, many of the remains could be seen thirty years 
ago. They were all, or nearly all, near water — springs or creeks — a necessity for oxen or horses, 
as well as the needs of men. 

30 December 1931 - Holy Trinity Church (Anglican), now Orange Hall. 

Mr. and Mrs. William Hunt, now of 21 58 West Seventh Avenue, were the first couple married in 
this church, 3 June 1901. 

St. Mark's Church (Anglican), Second Avenue West. 

Miss Wenmoth was the first baby christened. 

St. Andrew's Church (Presbyterian), Richards and Georgia. 

Mr. W.H. Evans, engineer on the first train into Port Moody, and who occupied the first house built 
(by C.P.R.) in new section behind Kitsilano Beach, now 2030 Whyte Avenue, and Miss Gordon 
were the first couple married in St. Andrew's Church, 1 8 June 1 890. The first concert there was 
29 May 1890. 

On Christmas Day, 1888, Miss Gordon and Mr. W.H. Evans walked together across the new 
Granville Street Bridge, which then terminated on Third Avenue. (Mrs. W.H. Evans, nee Miss 


The earliest marriage solemnised in the little temporary church beside St. Andrew's — it 
faced Georgia Street — was on 9 April 1889, or as they put it, "47 years ago" (from 1936) 
of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Blair. Reverend E.D. McLaren was minister. 

Imperial Opera House, the old Drill Shed. 

The first concert (according to Mrs. Evans who had an invitation card with the date) in the old 
Imperial Opera House was that of the Vancouver Philharmonic Society, F.W. Dyke, Secretary, 1 5 
May 1890. 


as first Drill Hall 1894. 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0090 

30 December 1931 - Dominion Day. Fire Brigade. Horse races. Diamond 
Jubilee, 1897. 

A few handy references culled from old newspapers. 


Daily News-Advertiser, 3 July 1888 (Tuesday): 

In spite of the weather, the celebration was a success. The sky was overcast; the 
mountains shrouded in mist, and occasional showers of rain came down. 


A more detestable game for cricket would be hard to find; the ground was wet 
and slippery, and the rain came down as if it never intended to stop. [Those at 
the bat] Clinton, Green, Townley, Prenter, Elwood, Nelson, Garriock, Wilkinson 
(Brighouse), Loutit, Schofield, Beck [all at bat]. 

The athletic sports were held on Water and Alexander Street. 

[The procession] then the old [fire] engine "M.A. MacLean," the new engine 
"Joseph Humphries" came next. 

Same newspaper, 4 July 1888: 

South Granville Street [probably between Pacific and Georgia streets] was 
crowded yesterday with lovers of horse flesh, and sporting men generally. A 
good days sport was provided, and the committee are to be congratulated on the 
success of their endeavours. The first race was a three quarter mile flat race, 
best two heats out of three, and open to any horse that had been in the province 
six months. Five horses ran. 


Same newspaper, 30 June 1889: 

"Ball at the Imperial Opera House tomorrow." 

"H.M.S. Swiftsure in port." 
Weekly News-Advertiser, 3 July 1889: 

"Dominion Day was a fine day." (Monday) 

"Fire Brigade Sports held on Water Street." 

"Dominion Day parade. The first time the Victoria Battery and the Westminster 
Battery paraded together" (at Vancouver). 

Cricket: Vancouver vs. Victoria. "Indeed there is no ground in B.C. which can be 
compared with that at Hastings for the two fold advantage of a good wicket, and 
fair outfield." 


Daily News-Advertiser, 27 June 1890: 

"The first street car ran Thursday, June 26th, 1890 — after a long wait." 

Same newspaper, 2 July 1890: 

"Cricket: Victoria vs. Vancouver at Hastings." All new names at bat since last 
year save Clinton and Nelson. 

Warships: "The absence of warships, which so greatly assisted last year." 

"During the greater part of the day the heat was intense." 

Procession: "The firemen with two engines came next." 

"Darktown Fire Brigade, 23 strong." (See special paragraph re this elsewhere in 


Daily News-Advertiser. 

"Brockton Point Grounds opened. July 1 st-3rd 1 891 ." 


"No sign of navy in port in 1 891 ." (See 1 890.) 

"Vancouver Opera House open at least as early as July 3rd 1 891 ." (See 
advertisement this date.) 


Daily News-Advertiser. 

H.M.S. Warspite here, and their officers go rifleshooting at Brownsville Rifle 
Range, New Westminster. 


Daily News-Advertiser. 

Dominion Day parade: No sign of navy, but the famous C Battery here, first 
Canadian troops in province of B.C. Apparently first visit to Vancouver. 


World, Monday June 21 st 1897: 

"No. 4, 5 and 6 Companies, B.C.B.G.A. left at 6 p.m. (Saturday) for Victoria to 
take part in the Diamond Jubilee festivities." (19 June 1897.) 

1863. An early survey of the site of the "village at the entrance" of 
Burrard Inlet, now Vancouver. 

26 Jan'y 1863 

Copy handed to 
Corp'l Turner. 
W. McColl, S.R.E. 

Memo for Capt. Parsons RE 

I wish Corporal Turner and party to proceed by earliest opportunity to Burrard 
Inlet to revise posts of gov't reserve for town near entrance — Do. Do. naval 
reserve and then to survey lands the property of R. Burnaby and N.P.P. Crease 
and from thence to lay out claims or survey lands (160 acres each, narrow side 
to shore front) between such points and the village which has been laid out "en 
bloc." In laying out above the party is especially to mark on plan and transmit the 
same as early as possible to me showing any clearances or huts or other 
"occupations" recently made by any parties. 

R.C.M. (Col. R.C. Moody, R.E.) 

Col. Com'g 

For photograph of Col. Moody's original note, and Corp. Turner's first drawing in original field 


*-/&*>/ ^»w xw*~^-*« — ^^^U^ - ^ 

AffiP tic**.**. A~^>t 7^**t **£- -£**—> >£■ ^U> ^*^ /4^*^, 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0091 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0092 

3 January 1932 - Burrard Inlet survey, 1863. Survey of site of Vancouver. 
Royal Engineers. 

There was delivered to the Land Registry office, Vancouver, during the month of December 1 931 , 
a remarkably interesting document: a small, inexpensive notebook, about eight inches square, 
and which, according to an official of the office, had just been handed to them by R.L. Reid, Esq., 
K.C., who told them he had found it amongst his papers, but did not know how it got there. The 
official told me that they had long been unable to determine certain matters (shoreline southeast 
of C.P.R. roundhouse) in connection with the topography of Vancouver, but which were now clear 
to them. 

The first page explains itself. It is a letter written on an ordinary piece of white paper as follows: 

26 Jan'y 1863 


Copy handed to 
Corp'l Turner. 
W. McColl, S.R.E. 

Memo for Capt. Parsons RE 

I wish Corporal Turner and party to proceed by earliest opportunity to Burrard 
Inlet to revise posts of gov't reserve for town near entrance — Do. Do. naval 
reserve and then to survey lands the property of R. Burnaby and N.P.P. Crease 
and from thence to lay out claims or survey lands (160 acres each, narrow side 
to shore front) between such points and the village which has been laid out "en 


bloc." In laying out above the party is especially to mark on plan and transmit the 
same as early as possible to me showing any clearances or huts or other 
"occupations" recently made by any parties. 

R.C.M. (Col. R.C. Moody, R.E.) 

Col. Com'g 

Then follow many pages of original survey notes of Burrard Inlet, sketches, drawings and 
distances made in February 1863 by Corporal Turner, showing in detail shores, rivers, creeks and 
huts, etc. 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0093 


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Item # EarlyVan_v1_0094 


ike Threz GtreenkoYvt fnjZiskmen. 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0095 


Copyright .NATIVE DAUGHTERS OF B.C. Post No I Vancouver. Lloore Photc 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0096 

30 December 1931 - Granville. Royal Sappers and Miners. Early Vancouver. 
W.H. Gallagher, Esq. 

"It was the Royal Engineers" (no) "who cleared the forest off old Granville," said Mr. W.H. 
Gallagher, and then as an afterthought added, "and a few pioneers of pioneers; men who had 
permission to go there, for instance, Arthur Sullivan's father cleared his own land — on Cordova 
Street, between Abbott and Carrall — and Sam Brighouse and John Hailstone built a place where 
they sold milk, where they kept the cans, the milks cans, fifteen years before Vancouver was 
thought of. 

"They kept their cows out on the ranch, on the cliff at the foot of, and to the west a little, Burrard 
Street, overlooking the inlet." 

Mr. Gallagher is growing older; a shock of steel white hair has replaced what was once dark 
brown, and now clothes a venerable head; not surprising considering that, forty-five years ago, he 
was old enough to act as special constable at the old Westminster Avenue Bridge the night of the 
Great Fire on the 1 3 th June 1 886. Today this veteran pioneer, now 72, formerly an alderman of 
the city, still continues to take a lively interest in civic and business affairs. He represented British 
Columbia at the great Buenos Aires (South America) Exposition a year or so ago, and now is 
actively engaged at his office, and early wooden building at the southeast corner of Richards and 
Pender streets. He lives at 1925 Comox Street, but came to Vancouver in April 1886, before the 
Fire. He is now packing up, preparatory to a pleasure trip to Europe. 

Granville, 1885. 

"The townsite of Granville was a small oblong, less than twenty acres — four blocks — along the 
shore of Burrard Inlet, low lying at the narrowest separation of False Creek and Burrard Inlet; 
during the high tide months of June and December, the water from both arms of the sea flowed 
freely across what is now Columbia Street. 


"Prior to 1 885, Granville was nothing more than a secluded pioneer settlement; a clearing, three 
hundred and fifty yards along the shore, two hundred and fifty yards into the forest, boxed in by 
tall trees; damp, wet, the actual clearing littered with stumps and forest debris, and a profusion of 
undergrowth, including luxuriant skunk cabbage. A great wall of trees stood along Hastings 
Street, and faced the waterfront. Two similar walls flanked the clearing, along Cambie Street on 
the west, and Carrall Street on the east. All else was verdant woods. The trees east of Carrall 
Street were cut down in 1 885, those west of Cambie in 1 886. 

"Our pioneer thoroughfare was Hastings Road, a winding crooked wagon road which skirted the 
shore between Hastings Mill and Gastown, running in and out among the trees in the same 
general direction as Alexander Street and Railway Avenue do today, but between those streets 
and the present Powell Street. Before the fire of June 13 th 1886, it continued on across Carrall 
Street to what is now known as Water Street, which, for half its length between Carrall and Abbott 
streets, was bridged over tidal land over which, at high tide, the waters of the inlet flowed. 
Continuing on, beyond Abbott Street to the west, Water Street became a wagon trail which 
corkscrewed a sinuous way in and out among the stumps until, just beyond Cambie Street, it 
circled round in the trees to a primitive landing on the shore, at which boats from Moodyville and 
even Port Moody landed freight, not passengers. The landing stood almost directly below, but 
slightly to the east of the foot of Homer Street. It was to this wharf that the refugees, flying before 
the fire, ran for protection from the blast, and whence women and children were conveyed to the 
hulk Robert Ker for safety, in small boats. The Water Street trail did not lead to Granville Street; 
all was forest up there. 

"I have been up to John Morton's, up on old Seaton Street, now Hastings Street West, at the foot 
of Burrard, on the 'Bluff,' but how I got there I don't know now; perhaps a continuation of the 
Water Street trail did lead up in that direction. He had a small piece of land cleared there, an acre 
or so partly cleared, and some cows. It was the water from the spring, and the clearing, which 
was responsible for the location there of the Chinaman's camp when the clearing of the land west 
of Burrard Street commenced, and where part of the Chinese rioting took place afterwards. But 
Brighouse and Hailstone wanted it for their cows; they had no idea there would ever be a 
Vancouver; that was what they preempted District Lot 1 85, the West End, for. 

"Brighouse himself told me what he wanted the land for; he preempted District Lot 1 85 because 
he did not want others bothering him. He also told me that when the man who was surveying was 
laying out the boundaries, the man had said to him, 'I will put in the island'" (Deadman's Island) 
"'in your preemption for five dollars.' Hailstone said, 'Don't give it to him; we've got enough stuff 
now.' Sam was a prince with his money. He would always give money for a hospital, or go down 
to Victoria to battle for the city's interests at his expense. There was nothing small about Sam. 

"The Water Street trail led to the little old landing; the wharf at the foot of Cambie Street was built 
after the fire, to unload lumber from scows with which to rebuild the city. It was owned by the 
Moodyville Sawmill Company of Moodyville, a very early Burrard Inlet lumber firm with a large 
export trade. Mr. Matheson, father of Mr. George Matheson, assistant land registrar at the Court 
House now, was the Vancouver agent at the sawmill, and it was he, together with the late Mr. 
Tiffen, who was associated with him, who built the Cambie Street wharf. The water off the foot of 
Cambie Street was shallow; it was deeper at the foot of Abbott Street. 

"At the foot of Carrall Street there had been for a good many years a public float; a small affair, 
about three feet wide; just two cedar logs lashed together and running away out beyond the 
shallow shore, almost exactly where the Union Steamship dock is now. The mail for Moodyville, 
which was quite an important place, went that way by the little steamer Senator, owned by 
Captain McFadden; there were three Senators, a first, a second and a third, and the Hastings Mill 
had two or three small tugs. Afterwards, Captain McFadden sold his business to the Union 
Steamship Company, and they had the contract to take the mail to Moodyville; that was what the 
Senator was doing. 

"On the shore side of Water Street, at the corner of Carrall Street, stood the Sunnyside Hotel, 
where His Excellency the Governor-General, the Marquis of Lome and the Princess Louise once 


stayed." (She was never in Granville Village.) "Its back verandah was built out over the water, at 
least at high tide; its front faced the famed Maple Tree, burnt in the fire, and under whose 
branches were our first 'political headquarters.' Next to the Sunnyside Hotel was George Black's 
butcher shop, also on piles; there were no other buildings on the shore between George Black's 
and Abbott Street, although the land was surveyed into lots — wet lots. The Reverend Joseph 
Hall's Methodist church was on the shore beyond, to the west of Abbott Street. I do not recall any 
other buildings on the shore between Carrall Street and Cambie Street, not in April 1886, 
although there may have been. 

"On the south side of Water Street, facing the water, the Deighton Hotel stood on the corner of 
Carrall Street, facing the Sunnyside; then next the very old Court House and jail, probably not the 
first one. That was where the balloting took place in the first civic election, where the first City 
Council was sworn in, and where the first City Council met in a small sitting room with a long 
table. I will tell you more about that later. Tom Cyrs' Granville Hotel came next; he bought it from 
Joe Mannion; it was where the Grand Hotel was afterwards and is now. Next was 'Billy' Jones' 
Terminal saloon, then the Gold House, owned by old Mr. Gold, and on the corner of Abbott Street 
was a restaurant, Pete Clare's, they say; I forget. The whole length of Water Street between 
Abbott and Carrall streets was planked right up to the store doors and, where necessary, piled. I 
presume the provincial government had done the bridging in the earlier days. 

"The Regina Hotel, at the southwest corner of Cambie and Water streets, was not finished at the 
time of the great fire, but they were living in it. There were no buildings on the first two lots across 
the street, where the boot factory is now; that helped to save the Regina Hotel. The first wooden 
headquarters offices of the C.P.R., on the cliff about the foot of Richards Street, they too were 

"Both Carrall Street and Abbott Street were opened up, and, being joined together by Water and 
Cordova streets, formed a single square, or oblong block — the only block in town; all else ran 
wild. Carrall and Water streets had the stores. On the corner of Carrall and Powell streets was the 
Ferguson Block, next to it the Post Office — on Carrall Street. On the flat iron corner opposite were 
three little one-storey stores. 

"The residential street was Cordova Street. At the back of the Court House, but facing Cordova 
Street, Jonathan Miller lived. He was our jailer before the fire, our whole police force in himself, 
and afterwards, for so many years, Vancouver's postmaster. The postmaster of old Granville, or 
rather Vancouver as it had become, resigned a day or so before the Fire or just after it, and Mr. 
Miller, being a government official, got the appointment. About the middle of the block was Mrs. 
Sullivan's home, whose sons Arthur and Charles lived with her, and whose husband had cleared 
their land with his own hands. Charles was afterwards drowned at Andy Linton's boat house at 
the foot of Carrall Street. On the corner of Abbott and Carrall streets, facing Abbott Street, was a 
row of Chinese cabins, and some other occupants of ill repute. 

"On the corner of Water and Abbott streets, where the Winters Hotel is now, there was a nice new 
building facing on Abbott Street, just completed. It was destroyed in the fire; I don't think they ever 
received a cent of revenue from it. There were many similar instances of misfortune; building was 
going on in haste, the first evidences of Vancouver's rapid expansion were being experienced. 

"On the remainder of the clearing of Old Granville Townsite — that is, up to the trees — there were 
no buildings to speak of prior to April 1 886, just stumps and rubbish. 

"From the corner of Carrall and Cordova streets, a wagon road or trail led southwards diagonally 
across Columbia Street towards the Westminster Avenue Bridge on False Creek. It skirted the 
lower levels of the creek waters, which came up to Pender Street and Columbia Street, passed 
along that shore near where the gas works now stands on Main Street, and finally reached the 
bridge on False Creek and continued on by the 'new road' to New Westminster. From Granville to 
the bridge it passed through forest; it was not near the site of the present Main Street at any point 
until it reached the bridge. 


"A trail ran up Hastings Street from about where the B.C. Electric Railway Depot is now, as far as 
Woodward's department store, and thus far it might have been possible for a two-wheeled cart to 
get by, but west of Abbott Street on Hastings Street, towards Victory Square, the trail was too 

"Another important trail ran, in 1886, from the 'residential area' on Cordova Street, up Abbott 
Street to Pender Street and Cambie Street, climbing the hill past the old hospital and school 
grounds, and wandering off into the woods, goodness knows where, until finally it came out at the 
foot of Granville Street on False Creek near Robertson and Hackett's sawmill now. It was used by 
hunters, and loggers from the logging camps out on English Bay, near Jericho. It had been an old 
Indian trail. When you reached the salt water at the foot of Granville Street on False Creek, you 
waved a stick with a rag for a flag, and an Indian would come over in a canoe from the Reserve 
and take you across and bring you back again, for four bits. An old Indian lived at the foot of 
Granville Street; he would ferry you over for two bits. I have had them call for me and bring me 
back many times. There was lots of excitement down at Greer's Beach in 1 886, and the fellows 
used to go over there to see what the place was like." 

Clearing the forest away. 

It was remarked to Mr. Gallagher that Mr. William Hunt of 7 th Avenue West has in his possession 
a very old painting in oil, done by his father Mr. C. Hunt in 1895, from a photograph given him at 
that time by Mr. Norman Caple, a very early photographer of Vancouver, and which Mr. Hunt Sr. 
says Mr. Caple told him at the time he requested him to paint it, was of Granville Street looking 
south from Pender Street in 1884. It shows a buggy travelling on an almost straight uphill trail, 
and towering forest on both sides. 

"How could that be, even in 1884," replied Mr. Gallagher. "Of course, the old logging roads 
always led downhill, but in 1884 no buggy could possibly drive up or down Granville Street. The 
logging road, which came down from the top of the hill in almost the exact position of Granville 
Street today, had great wide skids, ten feet wide or more, and in the winter of 1 886 these were 
still in position. Anyone who has seen the old corduroy roads will understand; they were made of 
logs a foot or more in diameter, and laid side by side. In the autumn of 1886, the C.P.R. was 
hauling stumping powder and camp supplies in 'stone boats' over those skids. Early in the 
summer of 1887, the C.P.R., under the direction of Mr. L.A. Hamilton, C.P.R. surveyor and an 
alderman, cleared and graded Granville Street, and the skids were then removed and destroyed. 
They rough graded a road, and planked it, ten or twelve feet wide, wide enough for a drive, and at 
their own expense. 

"In the other direction, on the slope facing south, the logging road ran from the crest of the hill 
about Robson Street, towards False Creek, but it did not follow Granville Street; it sheared off to 
the east — the land sloped in that direction, and the logs from that area were yarded into False 
Creek by Angus Fraser, to about where the C.P.R. roundhouse now stands. Oxen, probably six 
or seven yoke on one log, dragged the logs out of that trail as late as 1 887. 

"I think perhaps the old painting might be of Granville Street South, across False Creek, opened 
by the C.P.R. about 1 890. It could not be Granville Street from Pender Street." 


The giant trees. 

"The timber on the higher levels, that section centred about the Hotel Vancouver and 'Hudson's 
Bay' was the choicest stand of timber I have ever seen; it was very heavily timbered with 
enormous trees. One tree which stood on Georgia Street between Granville Street and Seymour 
Street was thirteen feet thick at the stump; even at two hundred feet from the butt it was three or 
four feet in diameter. It is the same tree which is shown in the well-known photograph of a real 
estate office, with a placard "VANCOUVER LOTS FOR SALE"; it never was a real estate office, 
that was merely a joke. The hollow butt, which forms the shelter of the supposed office, was 
burned out in the fire of 1886. The burned butt was cut off — there is a photograph extant showing 
what was cut off; also one of the stump, which I have — and the remainder cut up into sections so 
that they could be put together again, the sections shipped to the Old Country, where it was put 
up in some gardens for exhibition. 

"When the tree fell, it fell along Georgia Street — northwest and southeasterly. 

"The men who cut down the forest where now stands the most important business section of our 
city — that is, roughly from Cambie Street to Burrard Street, north and south between creek and 
inlet — adopted the expedient of cutting the backs only of the smaller trees, and then let a big tree 
down upon them; the whole thing would go down with a crash, like a lot of ninepins. After the first 
attempts at this system were proven successful, they enlarged it, and as the falling progressed 
southwards towards Davie Street — they had started from Burrard Inlet and worked south — a 
whole section often or more, perhaps twenty acres, would go down with one great grand 
sweeping crash. The axemen cut down the firs and cedars only; the smaller trees were knocked 
down, crushed, smashed. There were great numbers of vine maple, and many of them were bent 
down, only to spring back and stand erect again. When the fire came, the Great Fire, it was 
largely through this abundance of slashing fallen earlier in the summer, and very dry, which 
caused the fire to rage so fiercely. At the time of the fire, the trees were cut down at least as far 
as Drake Street, with the exception of a clump east of Homer Street where the C.P.R. had a 
reserve, of which more by and by. 

"People of today may gather some conception of the general appearance of all that tract 
mentioned if they will imagine brush, limbs and timber to the depth of ten feet or more deep, lying 
strewn over the ground in an almost solid mass in every direction; a dry spring and especially with 
a little wind; an ideal setting for a gigantic fire. 

"Reverting back to the big tree on Georgia Street: there is extant a photograph of the butt section 
of that tree showing two men in front, and a shed behind. That photograph must have been taken 
some time after 1886, for there were no sheds up there until the land was cleared; then there 
were several sheds in which the workmen kept their tools and supplies, and where a saw filer 
worked. You will notice in that photograph there is no sign of the greater part of the great trunk of 
the tree, just the butt length with burned butt. The probability is that the photograph was taken in 
1887 or 1888, after the smaller but more perfect sections had been shipped to England, and while 
the sheds used in clearing the land were standing. The burned cavity in the butt was not more 
than five or six feet deep. 

"I have heard that Mr. Devine, who has that photograph, says that the butt section was nine feet 
diameter at the small end, and was thirty feet long, and that the tree was shipped, in 1 886, to the 
Indian and Colonial Exhibition." 

The Great Fire of 1886. 

It was remarked to Mr. Gallagher that the Sun newspaper had published an article on a Great 
Fire anniversary some four or five years ago, in which was stated, and had never been denied, 
that the Great Fire started in the neighbourhood of Hastings Street, say, from Seymour to 
Hamilton Street. 

"The fire broke away before ten o'clock that morning," resumed Mr. Gallagher. "I was there and 
saw the fire myself. It was down near Drake Street that the fire started, along near Homer Street, 
west of False Creek. On several occasions, articles have been published, notably Major C. 


Gardner Johnson, and W.F. Findlay, nephew of Lewis Carter of the Carter House, recounting the 
story of how the fire started, and no doubt they gave their views exactly as they saw them. 

"The C.P.R. men were clearing the roundhouse site, and the fire got away from them. Where now 
stands much of the C.P.R. railway yards was formerly a great bay of False Creek, the shore of 
which is now very roughly defined by the western boundary of the yards and tracks, but the old 
shore swept in a great curve, and passed close to the foot of Helmcken Street and foot of Beatty 
Street; there has been an enormous lot of filling in. The roundhouse site was exactly where it is 
now, at the southern end of the reserve, the latter being bounded by Homer and Smythe streets, 
of the C.P.R. 

"My firm, Percival and Gallagher — Mr. Percival was an experienced man; I was just a young 
one — had the contract for building the C.P.R. roadbed from Hastings and Carrall Street to the 
roundhouse site. Our camp — we had forty men — was located on the shore of False Creek, in a 
little bay just west of — perhaps 250 feet — the present Cambie Street Bridge. A small brook which 
drained the water from two smaller rills which met in a fork, entered the bay near our camp, but 
we drew our drinking water from a hole in the ground. Our camp was, at high tide, almost within 
two feet of salt water." 

The start of the fire. 

"I was up at the roundhouse at 10 a.m. that Sunday morning, and at once put some of our men to 
the assistance of the C.P.R. men who were trying to keep the fire under control; at the time, we 
did not even dream that anything so serious as afterwards happened would occur. I am not quite 
sure that it was the C.P.R. men who were fighting the fire; I rather think it was men employed by 
the Townsite Commission, that is, R.B. Angus and Lord Strathcona, trustees of C.P.R. lands, and 
in whose name all lands were held and disposed of. At ten o'clock that morning, I accompanied 
our three men who had volunteered to help fight the fire up to the roundhouse, stayed with them, 
and returned with them to our camp for lunch. Both the C.P.R. men and our men went to their 
lunch, and after the meal our men went back to continue their assistance, but upon their return 
the fire had got away and was out of control, and by three o'clock was raging through the old 
town. While up there, I saw that the fire was growing very dangerous, and as we were leaving, I 
cautioned our three men that if the fire got away from where it was semi-cleared of slashings, that 
they were not to attempt to fight it, or they would lose their lives. After lunch we parted; they went 
down to the fire, I went down to our office on the south side of Hastings Road, now approximately 
Alexander Street, about where the entrance of the North Vancouver ferry is. 

"I secured our books and money — payday was nearing — but there was not much time. I had been 
in our little office but a few moments when I saw through the window a rabble of people running 
by. They were coming down Hastings Road from the direction of the Deighton House, Gassy 
Jack's place. I went out on the road, walked up towards Gassy Jack's, but by the time I got there 
the Sunnyside Hotel across the street was a mass of flame, and before I could get back to the 
office I had just left, that was on fire too; I had not even time to save clothing. 

"Before I left our camp, the fire had gained such momentum that it was impossible to see the sky; 
the air was just one mass of fiery flame driven before a strong rising southwest wind. 

"The remainder of our men were forced out of our camp on the False Creek shore, and driven 
into False Creek. Some of them had taken the precaution to dig a cavity in the roadbed, into the 
slope of the fill facing the creek, and in it they buried some of their belongings and camp supplies, 
so that we had food to eat until supplies came from Victoria and Seattle — both Victoria and 
Seattle sent a boatload. Some Indians encamped on the other side of the creek, where Leamy 
and Kyle's mill was afterwards, now the site of the Vancouver Lumber Company, came over in 
canoes and rescued our men and took them across the creek to their encampment. 

"But our three men who had helped fight the fire were never heard from again. What became of 
them we never actually found out; they had a month's pay coming, which was never claimed, nor 
did we find the remains or hear from the relatives. Their disappearance remains a mystery to this 
day. They were men who had volunteered to go and fight the fire; sterling men of splendid 


character; not such as would have remained unheard from. There is little doubt that those brave 
men perished in a gallant attempt to bring the fire under control." 

Vancouver consumed by flame. 

"The city did not burn; it was consumed by flame; the buildings simply melted before the fiery 
blast. As an illustration of the heat, there was a man (driving horse and wagon) caught on Carrall 
Street between Water Street and Cordova Street; man and horse perished in the centre of the 
street. The fire went down the sidewalk on old Hastings Road, past our office, so rapidly that 
people flying before it had to leave the burning sidewalk and take to the road; the fire traveled 
down that wooden sidewalk faster than a man could run. 

"I waded out into the harbour at the back of our office, between Carrall and Columbia streets now, 
with hundreds of dollars of pay money in my pockets, and nearly suffocated. The heat was so 
intense that we had to stoop down almost to the surface of the water to get our breath. There was 
a current of cool air close to the surface of the water we were standing in, between the heat and 
smoke and the surface of the water; we breathed that, and it saved us. 

"Word that Vancouver had been destroyed reached the outside world from George Black's at 
Hastings; Hugh Keefer, who had the contract for the construction of the roadbed from Port Moody 
to Vancouver, had a telephone — the only one. 

"As soon as the news reached New Westminster that Vancouver had been destroyed, the city 
officials sent out young men on horseback who rode up and down the streets shouting that 
Vancouver had been burned, and the people without food. Truly splendid services were rendered 
wholeheartedly by the people of New Westminster. They immediately began to collect provisions, 
and the housewives to put up parcels of food, practically to the last fragment they had. That 
afternoon and evening, the New Westminster Fire Brigade, the 'Hyacks,' helped to collect it. 

"In the meantime, a messenger had arrived on horseback in Vancouver, saying that food for 
women and children was coming, and all the blankets they could send. Mayor M.A. MacLean and 
Chief of Police Stewart sent messengers to the places where the people were huddled together 
for the night, and advised them to assemble at the south end of Westminster Avenue, just over 
the bridge — now the northern part of the Canadian National Railway ornamental gardens — and 
the only practical place to assemble, for the most of the rest of Vancouver was unapproachable, a 
mass of glittering lights in the darkness of the night, smouldering embers and smoke. The city 
had been swept clean, save for a half a dozen buildings on Westminster Avenue, the Regina 
Hotel, and a few floating scow houses. Mr. Alexander's house and one other adjoining also 

"Mayor MacLean's call to assemble was followed by what was probably the sorriest looking 
procession Vancouver had, and I hope ever will see, and long to be remembered by those who 
witnessed it. Hungry and temporarily despondent women, children and men who had lost all they 
possessed, some even their clothes, straggled in twos, threes, or larger downcast groups, along 
that rough old trail through the woods in the blackness of that dark, dreary night, and gathered 
together to await the arrival of food. 

"At twelve midnight, two wagonloads of eatables arrived at the south end of the bridge. They had 
hastened by a rough bush trail, a wagon's width wide, the 'New Road,' now Kingsway, then a 
mere furrow fringed with scrub through the forest. The weaker and the elderly were served first, 
both food and blankets; the men got what was left." 


It was the Knights of Labour who did most. 



Seventh. Avoiug g fl< > 

A^frtOX. IBS* or/»a^ 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0097 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_0098 

God bless the sailors. 

"I must tell you of a most touching scene, the late arrival of four sailors with medical supplies. 

"For some time, there had been a telephone from New Westminster to Onderdonk's at Port 
Moody, and by that means the news of the fire reached Port Moody and some ships lying there. 
Four sailors had volunteered [and] immediately started out, rowed all the way in a row boat, part 
of it against the tide, and brought medical supplies. Many persons were burned in the fire, had 


had no medical attention; no bandages or other medical supplies were available; all had been 
burned. The sailors had sized up the situation and dashed off with the badly needed medical aids. 

"They were certainly very weary after their long pull, and no doubt very hungry too. 

"At first the men distributing the food from the wagons said there was not a morsel left for the 
sailors, but as they were emptying the crates and boxes the food had been sent in — it was a 
topsy-turvy confusion of eggs hurriedly fried and placed between slices of bread, or perhaps hard 
boiled eggs in a soda can protection — a man named Slater, who together with myself had been 
appointed by the Mayor to police and superintend, and who had taken a very prominent part in 
seeing that women and children were served first, called out that he had discovered in one of the 
crates something which had been missed. You must realise that almost complete darkness 
prevailed in the bivouac. It was a little parcel, neatly done up, and was given to the sailors. Some 
thoughtful New Westminster woman had prepared some sandwiches, just fried eggs between 
bread, but with it was a little note which feelingly said she regretted it was very little, but was all 
she had. Sane, sensible woman, whoever she was; how pleased she would have been had she 
seen what her little mite accomplished for those splendid men. 

"The sailor man who got the note turned and faced the east, raised his hand in an attitude of 
supplication, and offered the most beautiful prayer for New Westminster and its people, imploring 
the Almighty never to let them be in such distress, and asking the Lord to reward them a 
hundredfold. You do not expect that sort of thing from a rough sailor, and in the middle of the 

It may have been a reflection of light which I saw, or it may have been a tear which fell, but when 
some days later I read these notes to Mr. Gallagher, I glanced out of the corner of my eye and 
now I am sure it was not a reflection. 

"Some say," he went on, "that I have an undue prejudice in favour of New Westminster. It is hard 
to forget, to forget their wholeheartedness in the hour of our great distress." 

An improvised morgue for the dead. 

"The Regina Hotel was, of course, the only building of any consequence which escaped, and it 
was located at the corner of Cambie and Water Street, north of the fire as it were. But on 
Westminster Avenue near the bridge, south of the fire, and protected by an indent of water from 
False Creek, six or seven buildings, including the Bridge Hotel, survived. The Bridge Hotel on the 
east side of Westminster Avenue adjoined the bridge, while across the road almost opposite were 
three houses: John Boultbee's, our police magistrate; Mr. John's, the collector of customs; and 
Mr. Costrie's, the meat merchant; all three houses close together on the west side. We converted 
a small building adjoining the Bridge Hotel into a rude morgue, and before daylight there were 
deposited there the remains of twenty-one persons." 


"The back of the Bridge Hotel was on piles; later a platform on piles was built, and, after 
the fire, you could drive a team around the back of the hotel. I know, because I used to 
shoot duck from it myself." -W.F. Findlay, 12 April 1932. 

"We gathered together some bits of board and built a table about three feet high, five feet wide 
and thirty feet long, and as each body — or part of a body — was brought in, it was reverently laid 
upon that table. Some bodies had not an arm, nor foot, nor head left; some of the poor remains 
would not hold together; some weighed a few pounds, perhaps twenty or thereabouts; all had so 
suffered by fire that they were not recognisable. The Bridge Hotel gave us their blankets, and in 
those were wrapped such remains as were found, with a little note attached to each parcel saying 
where the contents were picked up. 

"Altogether, there were twenty-one parcels, and I know of others, those which were not 
discovered until the work of clearing away the debris of the burned buildings began. There was 


one on Hastings Street, another on Pender Street, both about one hundred feet from the railway 
crossing; another was discovered beneath a mattress. 

"The little morgue building was lighted by candles — there was no electric light or gas here then — 
and in the feeble illumination, a procession passed in and out all night; some were searchers 
bringing their sad burden; others distracted fathers and mothers looking for their little ones. Their 
faces and hands were grimed with sweat and charcoal dust; their clothes were such as they had 
when they first ran. When the dawn broke, they were still searching. 

"One incident is that of two elderly people, strangers to the city. I met the old lady on Carrall 
Street, deeply distressed; she said she had lost her husband. I consoled her and went on. A little 
further on I met her husband, also deeply perturbed, until I told him I had seen his wife up the 
road and, turning around, pointed to her sitting on a black root at the corner of Hastings Road and 
Carrall Street. 

"It was never known, and never will be, how many lost their lives. Of all the remains found, three 
only, those found at the corner of Hastings and Columbia streets, were recognisable by their 
features; then, too, we made an effort to keep the number as low as possible. Three bodies were 
taken out of a well down near St. James Church on Cordova Street East; at the time, there were 
some shacks down there. They were evidently husband, wife and little daughter, and must have 
been strangers, saw the fire coming, rushed away, and seeing a well, jumped into it. There was 
three or four feet of water in the well, and their clothing was unharmed by fire, but their faces 
were livid; the fire had, apparently, swirled over the well, and they had been suffocated, not 
burned. They were well dressed; the lady had gloves on her hands. It was the gum and pitch 
which made the fire so terrible, so fierce, and created a black, bitter smoke more smothering than 
burning oil. 

"The fire occurred at a time when families and others were scattered; that is the explanation of 
how so many were separated from their kindred. It was early on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the 
midday meal was over, some had gone to Sunday school, others out for pleasure. Most of the 
people were new arrivals, and, the men folk especially, took the opportunity of the bright Sunday 
afternoon to look over the townsite, the very shape of which, now so familiar, was then, just after 
the falling of the trees, strange even to many who might be called 'old-timers.' The town was new, 
and the thought uppermost in our minds was, 'Would it grow east or west of Carrall Street'; the 
question was debated at every corner; many were off spying out the land. Then, with terrible 
swiftness, the fire came upon them; each had to fly to save their own life; there was no time for 

the first church service after the fire. the presbyterian church. reverend c.l. 

"No, I'm afraid not," smiled Mr. Gallagher. "I'm afraid we did not pay much attention to church or 
Sunday school. On Sundays we were too busy working; hauling lumber, clearing, building the city 
again. But there is a little story I want to tell you about. 

"On Sunday afternoon, the Sunday after the fire, about two p.m. — it happened on Cordova Street, 
just a little west of Carrall Street on the north side of Cordova Street — Reverend Mr. Thompson, 
the Presbyterian clergyman, came along and suggested to the workmen who were grading 
Cordova Street and covering it with planks, three by twelve planks, that perhaps they ought to 
cease work for a moment and give thanks to the Almighty for their escape the previous Sunday. 
Everyone in sight laid down their tools; the teamsters left their horses standing. Then they picked 
up the empty spike kegs and some planks and carried them into an empty store in process of 
erection for Geo. L. Allan, the boot and shoe merchant, and made rows of seats out of the kegs 
and planks. About one hundred and fifty went in to the service. 

"Just at that moment His Worship Mayor MacLean came along and joined in the simple yet 
deeply impressive service. The men were, of course, in their working clothes; the service was not 
long, and was soon over. 


"At its conclusion those big, rough, hardy bushmen paid as gentle a compliment as ever I have 
witnessed. The service over, none moved; they all stood motionless while His Worship moved 
down the rude aisle. His Worship halted at the entrance, and stood to one side, Reverend Mr. 
Thompson on the other, and both shook hands with each member of the impromptu congregation 
as they slowly departed from the half-finished building. Then the men went back to work to make 
Cordova Street passable." 

"North American Chinamen." 

From Canada's Great Highway: From the first Stake to the Last Spike by J.H.E. Secretan, 1924. 
(Mr. Secretan, a civil engineer, [was] in change of selecting right of way, etc., C.P.R.) 

Page 44: "When the Canadian 'tenderfeet' began to immigrate into the country they were not 
particularly welcome; their ideas were too small, and parochial to suit the man in the mountains" 
... "he could not understand them at first" ... "the smallest coin in the country was a twenty-five 
cent piece, which was known as 'two bits'; a half dollar was 'four bits,' and no one had ever heard 
of anything so small as five or ten cents until the Canadians arrived, so I suppose those lordly 
pioneers looked down in pity on the lowly emigrants when they mentioned such currency, and 
called them 'North American Chinamen.' They thought them mean." 

"North American Chinamen." R.H. Alexander. 

"The expression 'North American Chinamen' may have been used previously, but I do not think 
so. I will tell you of the first time I heard it, and I have always understood that it was Mr. Alexander 
who coined it," resumed Mr. Gallagher. 

"A few days prior to our first election, a strike took place at the Hastings Sawmill. Quite a number 
of navvies who had helped to build the railway for Onderdonk had come back from the 
construction of the roadbed. Most contracts for this work were finished in the fall of 1885, and the 
roadbed work was pretty well complete. These navvies had got work at the Hastings Sawmill for 
the winter and at, I believe, $1 .25 per day; I am not certain whether this sum included their board 
and lodging or not; I rather think it did." (Note: in 1 898, the author worked in a Puget Sound 
sawmill for $1.00 per day of 10 hours, and 250 extra for two more hours, 6 to 8 p.m., and paid 
500 a day for board and lodging at the company boarding house.) "These navvies prompted the 
strike of early April 1886, probably ten days before the first civic election in which Mr. R.H. 
Alexander, the mill manager, was one of the two candidates for first mayor of Vancouver. 

"A conciliation committee of merchants and business men was appointed at a meeting held under 
the Maple Tree, and was requested to interview Mr. Alexander; I was one, the late Mr. Fulman 
Rutherford of Lulu Island was another. Mr. Alexander received us very cordially, told us that, for 
many years prior to that winter, he had run the mill successfully with Indians and some 
Chinamen, that he was quite willing to take back the men who had gone out — his old white 
employees had stood by him, and the mill was not shut down — but that he would not reduce the 

"The following evening, the committee reported back to the meeting, again under the Maple Tree, 
conveyed their report, and added that they had promised to report back to Mr. Alexander what the 
men decided to do. 

"But the men would have none of it, and when we went to Mr. Alexander for our second interview, 
and gave him the men's answer, he replied that he would just engage a few extra Indians and 
Chinamen, and it was then that he made the remark, 'Canadians are only North American 
Chinamen anyway.' 

"Mr. Alexander was a splendid man, but the remark, made undoubtedly in a moment of 
exasperation, was very costly to him afterwards in the first civic election." 


Vancouver's first civic election, 1886. 

"It was the men falling the forest who elected our first mayor, His Worship Mayor M.A. MacLean, 
in April 1 886," continued Mr. Gallagher. "They were slashing trees up around the Hotel 
Vancouver, where it is now. The late Major C. Gardner Johnson was poll clerk, and the balloting 
was done at the little old Court House, a small wooden building on Water Street, next to Gassy 
Jack's Deighton Hotel. 

"The printed booklet Voters List, City of Vancouver, 1886, frequently accepted as the first voters 
list of Vancouver, was first used at the election of 1 887, not the first election of 1 886. It was made 
up during 1 886, after the first election. There was no voters list for the first election; the list of 
those who voted at the first election was made up with a pen, while the election balloting was in 
process, from those who voted, and was being added to even up to within ten minutes of the 
close of the poll. 

"The voting was more or less open, and continued all day. Those presenting themselves to vote 
were asked, 'How long have you been here?' and 'where do you live?' and the replies were such 
as, 'I live at the' — naming the hotel — or 'I have been here,' mentioning the time. That was 
sufficient, but of course during the conversation, those gathered within hearing — and there were 
many — could make a fairly good guess as to how he would vote. 

"The men from the woods used to sleep at Tom Cyrs' 'Granville Hotel,' so they went to him, and 
he would give them a slip of paper saying that the man slept in Room No. 20 or 21 , as the case 
was, and the man voted on that." And Mr. Gallagher laughed heartily. 

"One man had a lease to a portion of a building on Cordova Street, and came down to vote with 
the lease in his hand, and voted on it. Mr. MacLean's committee persuaded him to leave the 
lease with them; it was drawn up on the usual form with a space for the name, and I think fifty 
men must have voted on that lease. After one man had voted, the next voter's name was written 
on a slip of paper, and pasted in the space on the lease where the name appeared, and so 
continued until there was a tier of slips, when they were removed and a fresh start made." 

A brother of Chris Benson, cigar maker, now (1 931 ) of Haro Street, had lease to portion of Robert 
Clark's building at corner of Carrall and Cordova Street. 

"About 1 1 :30 a.m., the old paddle wheeler Yosemite drew in from Victoria with about one hundred 
and twenty-five voters on board, and after she passed Brockton Point the band on her deck 
began to play 'Hail the Chief,' but the chief they hailed was Mr. R.H. Alexander of the Hastings 
Mill, who was defeated, not Mr. MacLean, the successful candidate. 

"The Hastings Sawmill, of which Mr. Alexander was manager, was owned by Victoria and San 
Francisco people, and about midday the mill people sent up fifty or sixty Chinamen to vote. 
Charlie Queen, who drove the New Westminster-Gastown tallyho, afterwards alderman and 
subsequently since the war drowned on a C.P.R. Princess steamer, got up on a stage coach in 
front of Mr. Cyrs' hotel on Water Street and made a speech blaming the Hastings Mill people for 
sending the Chinamen up. The crowd grew hostile, started to drive the Chinamen back to the mill; 
the Orientals took to their heels, and the crowd took after them down the Hastings Road. 

"The opening of the ballot box was a strange proceeding," and here Mr. Gallagher laughed again. 
"I'm afraid they were not familiar with election procedure, but we had lots of fun." (Partaken 
liberally of "flowing bowl.") 

"Mr. Alexander was defeated, but not fairly. Several of those who helped to defeat him, including 
myself, called upon him subsequently and asked him to become a candidate for mayor. He said 
he could not possibly spare the time for the mayoralty, but he would serve as an alderman, and 
afterwards did. He was a splendid alderman, too, a far sighted, hard headed business man; he 
served our city well. 

"It was first the strike, then the 'North American Chinaman' incident, and finally the Victoria crowd 
and the band playing 'Hail the Chief,' which incensed many and, together with the loose voting, all 


combined to defeat Mr. Alexander. It was also the first time there was any open display of ill 
feeling between Victoria and Vancouver, an ill feeling which did not die down until after the defeat 
of the Victoria oligarchy by Mr. Semlin of Cache Creek. 

"There were some wonderful men on our earlier councils — not all on our first council — and head 
and shoulders over our parliamentary legislators at Victoria. A few I can hurriedly recall were 
MacLean, Oppenheimer, Alexander, Hamilton, Lefevre, Dunn, and Templeton, besides others. 
They all served without remuneration. MacLean did not even take his postage." 

The first council meeting. 

"The first council meeting was held in the sitting room of the old Court House, which faced the 
sea, on Water Street, where the No. 1 Fire Hall was afterwards, and now the site of a storage 
garage. The building stood back about ten feet from Water Street; the front door and sitting room 
windows faced Water Street. The interior of the sitting room was about ten feet wide and twenty 
long, was lined with plain cedar 'V joint, and lighted at night by a large coal oil lamp. Four doors 
in a row took up most of the long side opposite the windows, and opened into four prison 'cells.' 

"At the appointed hour, the mayor and aldermen elect and some others, I think in all about 
twenty-one — more could not have found standing room — crowded into the small sitting room. The 
poll clerk, Mr. C. Gardner Johnson, and His Worship-elect took the head of the table. Mr. 
McGuigan sat on the poll clerk's left; I stood at Mr. MacLean's right, and was about the only 
person present not in some official capacity. I stood close to his Worship's elbow. 

"Mayor MacLean and I had met before we came to Vancouver. He had been purchasing agent for 
the government in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885; he employed 'a thousand' teams; I had horse 
feed for sale and was buying wheat at Wolseley, thirty miles east of Qu'Appelle. Mr. MacLean 
had been exceptionally courteous and considerate of my interests then, so that afterwards when 
we were both in Vancouver, and he was candidate for mayor, I naturally desired to return the 
compliment. He had little of worldly goods then, scarcely a week's board, so that a good 
opportunity was open to me to show my appreciation of his past kindnesses. I had also had 
previous experience in the establishment of civic government at Wolseley, Assiniboia, N.W.T., 
and so was more or less familiar with the procedure. Thus it was that I was at Mr. MacLean's right 
hand when the initial meeting of the City Council of Vancouver took place." 


~h\*JOY (?. Q«y <l*-nCf XoAixJort. rt-bout' icjio t* tcfi<\ 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_0099 

The first council assembles. 

"At the head of the table sat Mr. MacLean, and the late Major C. Gardner Johnson, the poll clerk. 
Mr. Gardner Johnson administered the oath of office to His Worship, and then His Worship swore 
in the aldermen, and all seated themselves around the long table. Among the few present were 
Mr. John Boultbee, Mr. G.F. Baldwin, Mr. J.J. Blake, Ex-Chief John Stewart, Mr. Jonathan Miller, 
the jailer, and Mr. T.F. McGuigan. I do not recall any others, though doubtless there may have 
been. I stood, as a sort of godfather, at His Worship's right." 

"I doubt if any of the aldermen were experienced, and after being sworn in they sat down. 

Someone asked, 'What do we do next?' I said, 'If you will wait a moment or two I will show you,' 

and I went out around the corner to a little stationery and book store, Tilley's, bought a pad of 

writing paper and a pen, came back, wrote the city's name at the top of a sheet, and then 

suggested that they should now appoint a City Clerk. 

"Someone moved that T.F. McGuigan be appointed City Clerk, and after his appointment passed, 
I took pen and pad of paper, and placed it in front of Mr. McGuigan. 

"The second appointment was G.F. Baldwin as City Treasurer, but they had not as yet twenty-five 
cents of civic funds for him to take care of. 


"The appointments continued. Mr. J.J. Blake was appointed City Solicitor. He was a fine lawyer of 
sound judgment, and never known to make a mistake. Mr. John Boultbee was appointed police 

J wearing Jn 



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Item # EarlyVan_v1_00100 


The first disturbance. 

"Then came the first disturbance in the City Council of Vancouver: who was to be the 
poundkeeper? Who was to look after stray horses, cattle and dogs? At the time I could not 
understand what all the discussion and indecision was about, which grew stronger and stronger 
until finally decision was deferred until a later date, when Mr. Hemphill, father of Mr. Hemphill of 
the Hemphill Auto Schools, and who did not want the appointment, nevertheless got it, and we, all 
of us, got our drinks at the Sunnyside Hotel across the street. The cause of the disturbance was 
then revealed: it seems there was a wager as to who would get the appointment of poundkeeper, 
and with 'drinks for the crowd' as stakes. 

"Alderman Harry Hemlow in Vancouver, and Alderman L.A. Hamilton in eastern Canada, still 

"I do not know who prepared our first civic charter, but the records would show. It might have 
been 'Jimmie' Orr, MP. P., who lived at Ladner's and represented all the great district 
surrounding, including Granville, in the legislature. Mr. Blake probably had something to do with 

Mayor MacLean. 

"Mayor MacLean was a Scotchman, and dearly loved to represent the city at any function. He 
was a fluent, forceful speaker, and had a good grasp of the future, municipally speaking, and 
proud of his part in laying down the foundations of our city. He was one of the few — it seems to 
me the only one, out of many — who, in those early days, envisioned the growth of our city, our 
harbour, and especially our foreign trade, as it has actually taken place. He had travelled much, 
which few of us had done, and that, perhaps, may in part account for it. He was as honest as they 
are made, and very conscious of the high responsibility to which he had been elected, as well as 
proud of it. 

"To give you an instance of his kindly character, I will recount an incident which occurred on 
Dominion Day 1886. 

"The Indians of North Vancouver came over from the Mission to pay their respects to the new city 
of Vancouver. His Worship met them on the floating wharf at the foot of Carrall Street, and after 
their chief had delivered their message of goodwill, His Worship responded with a warm 
welcome. He referred to them as 'native Canadians,' and reminded them that it was their brothers 
who had upheld the British in North American wars. 

"His address was inspiring and intensely patriotic, and thenceforth the Indians of the Mission were 
very proud of the City of Vancouver and its mayor. 

"Poor as Mayor MacLean was, he worked, and worked hard, without a dollar of salary for the first 
year, and even furnished his own desk and postage, but the second year he was furnished with 
an office at the old City Hall on Powell Street." (See his daughter's explanation re Great Fire, 
1886. 8 February 1932.) 

"Mayor MacLean was not paid a salary, nor was his successor, Mayor Oppenheimer, but in the 
latter's case a small amount was set aside to cover his entertaining expenses, but Mayor 
Oppenheimer used very little of it, and when his year was up, a small unexpended balance was 
returned to the city from the grant which had been made. His custom was to give his card with a 
few brief notes on its back to whomever he was indebted, and Mr. Baldwin would make out a 
cheque in payment." 


Item # EarlyVan_v1_00101 



about" JqiO 
7io*f (hiccr.z b j cf},£l %ty 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_00102 

Early financing. 

"After the first council meeting civic organisation was more or less complete, but there was no 
money in the treasury, and the question of finances came up early. There had been considerable 
preliminary expense, and other expenses, some defrayed privately by public spirited men. The 
mayor and aldermen had been elected, the civic officials appointed, but there was no money to 
pay them, not twenty-five cents, nor to defray past or future expenses; there was no assessment 
roll, nor a single by-law. 


"Some money was collected from fines inflicted on disorderly or drunken persons, but they were 
very small amounts, $2.50, and went to pay the police salaries. Mr. Baldwin regarded that money 
as 'dirty,' and when delivered to him would finger it gingerly. 

"The situation was pressing and desperate, but not forlorn. It was clearly a case for the Chief of 
Police, and he was told to 'get busy,' and doubtless winked the other eye and started to 'clean up 
the town.' 

"Word was passed around that Magistrate Boultbee had signed some warrants for arrest, and 
then both he and City Solicitor Blake found it convenient to have an engagement in New 
Westminster. The chief of police actually had been busy, very busy, and had gathered in about 
twenty malefactors. The important thing for the moment was to get someone to sit on the bench 
and try the cases in the absence of the police magistrate. 

"Mayor MacLean did not approve of the procedure which had been followed, and considerable 
persuasion was necessary before we could get him to see that the 'reputation of the city was at 
stake.' We implored him to take note that it was the city of which he was so proud, and of which 
he was the chief magistrate, and that 'its reputation was at stake.' Considerable pleading, plus a 
little invigorating stimulant at the Bodega saloon finished him, and we all went down to the old 
Court House on Powell Street, and His Worship got on 'the bench,' that is, his chair at the end of 
the table. 

"T.F.,' as we called him, the city clerk, read the first charge, the only charge read. Addressing the 
accused by name, he said, 'You are charged with — , guilty or not guilty?' The accused rose to 
the occasion and circumstances, and pleaded, 'Guilty.' 

"The court was astonished. His Worship's dignity was already in the ascendant, and the plea of 
'guilty' sent it sky-rocketing; he thumped his desk and exploded. Fastening the accused with his 
eye, he thundered, 'How dare you stand before me and plead guilty to defying the laws of God 
and man AND THIS YOUNG AND PROSPEROUS CITY.' He halted a moment, and then abruptly 
ejaculated, 'twenty dollars,' and with a sweeping gesture of his arm, 'the same for the rest of you.' 

"That settled that, and the court rose instantly. About twenty were fined. 

"While it is true that Granville had possessed a gaol for perhaps twenty years or more before 
incorporation as the city of Vancouver, the surveillance which came after incorporation was not 
possible before incorporation. The malefactors were undoubtedly guilty of an infraction of the 
criminal code, and the money from their fines was very convenient at the moment to solve the 
more pressing needs of our civic finance." 

Tom McGuigan said "Birdie Stewart, etc., with keeping a house of prostitution." Mayor MacLean 
said, "Birdie STEWART, how dare, etc.," "of God and nature." 

The Chinese riots. 

"In the autumn of 1 886, Brighouse and Hailstone let a contract for the clearing of a portion of 
District Lot No. 185, that is from about Burrard Street to Thurlow Street. Early in 1887, it was 
snowing at the time, the contractor, McDougall, brought in a number of Chinamen to work. 
McDougall's camp was near the corner of Burrard and Pender streets, almost exactly where the 
Elysium Hotel stands now, where there was a small spring and creek of splendid water — John 
Morton's old place. 

"The night of the Chinese riots a public meeting was held; the speakers spoke from the verandah 
of the Sunnyside Hotel. After a few speakers had addressed the crowd, a procession was formed 
to go up to where the Chinamen had been landed up at McDougall's camp and drive them out. 
That would be well on towards midnight; there was snow on the ground; it was quite clear and we 
could see what we were doing. There were many tough characters among the crowd, navvies 
who had been working for Onderdonk, hotheaded, thoughtless, strong and rough, and many went 
along with the procession to try and prevent anyone from being hurt. I was not in the procession, 


but I was within fifty feet of the front of it when they started. The column was singing as they 
marched along in the semi-darkness. 

"When the Chinamen saw all these men coming, they were terrified. The crowd came up to the 
camp singing 'John Brown's Body,' and such songs; the Chinamen poked their noses out from 
beneath their tents; the 'rioters' grabbed the tents by the bottom and upset them, the 'war cry,' 
'John Brown's Body,' still continuing. The Chinamen did not stop to see; they just ran. Some went 
dressed, some not; some with shoes, some with bare feet; the snow was on the ground and it 
was cold. Perhaps, in the darkness, they did not know that the cliff, and a drop of twenty feet [was 
there]; perhaps some had forgotten; some may have lost direction. The tide was in; they had no 
choice; and you could hear them going plump, plump, plump, as theyjumped into the salt water. 
Scores of them went over the cliff — McDougall was supposed to have two hundred of them up 

"Those who stopped at McDougall's camp after we returned to the Sunnyside Hotel told me that 
those Chinamen who jumped into the sea were afterwards pulled out of the water and herded 
onto the C.P.R. wharf, where there was a steamer, and that they all went off to Victoria early next 
morning; perhaps it was the C.P.R. wharf upon which they were herded, but I rather thought it 
was Spratt's Ark upon which they collected. 

"To my mind, it was the singing, the songs in a strange tongue, and our different races, which 
terrified the Chinamen. When the Chinamen came to Vancouver from Victoria they knew they 
were not wanted; they came in the face of opposition — some Victoria Chinamen refused to come, 
and perhaps that knowledge helped to terrify them. 

"My friends and I went along to prevent violence. After the trouble was over for the night, we all 
went back to the Sunnyside Hotel. There, the ringleaders proposed that we raid Chinatown. It 
was then three or four in the morning, and we prevailed upon them to wait until daylight; if they 
would wait until daylight, then we would join them. Finally the arrangement was made that we 
were all to meet at the Sunnyside at 8 a.m., which we afterwards did. Those who were trying to 
save the situation agreed to furnish drays at that hour. The crowd decided that the 'Chinks' had 
got to be moved out of town." 

Exeunt the Chinamen. 

"The following morning — I was there — at 8 a.m. the crowd again assembled at the Sunnyside. 
Several of the draymen owned their own dray or wagon; others were hired. The former gave their 
services free; where it was necessary to pay, my party paid; there were probably twenty-five 
drays and wagons used altogether. The crowd moved over to Dupont Street, to Chinatown, 
between Carrall and Columbia Street, now known as Pender Street East. 

Some of the more responsible Chinese merchants suggested to some of our business men that 
the Chinamen would leave peaceably if they were permitted to leave one man in charge of their 
goods, and after a hurried conference with the leaders of the opposition to the Chinamen, the 
Chinese request was granted, and the elderly Chinese merchants assembled their fellow 
countrymen to a man, and we had no more trouble; none tried to escape. 

"The Chinamen in each building were permitted to select their own custodian to be left behind; no 
goods were damaged, there was no pilfering; one Chinaman was left in each store. The 
remainder, probably one hundred, assembled quietly, were loaded onto old fashioned horse 
drawn drays. They all stood up crowded together on the drays, and one by one the drays and 
wagons moved off to New Westminster — a pretty rough ride in a springless dray over a rough 
road — and put on a steamer for Victoria. 

"I have heard it said that four Chinamen were tied together by their pigtails and thrown in the 
creek at McDougall's camp. If so, I know nothing of it. I do know that some of them were tied 
together by their pigtails to prevent them escaping in Chinatown the following morning. 

"There were no buildings up at McDougall's camp on Burrard Street, at least none other than a 
cook house and a place for meals, both built out of one-inch and twelve-inch boards, and both of 


which were knocked down that night. The Chinamen were living in tents. You see, there was 
quite a space of vacant land, unoccupied, between Gastown and Burrard Street, in those days; 
many people did not know that the Chinamen had landed there; they had been there a mere two 
or three days when the riot occurred. McDougall had hired all the Chinamen in Victoria, sent them 
over, and presumably kept out of the way, fearful that something might happen. McDougall was 
very unpopular, and he would have had rough handling if he had been there that night. 

"A day or so following, the Provincial Government suspended the city charter, sent over a number 
of special constables, and took charge of the city. An effort was made by these officials to convict 
those who had taken part in the Chinese Riots; they made two arrests of supposed ringleaders. A 
special magistrate was sent over from Victoria, but they had no success in getting evidence 
against the men arrested. It was stated in court that the two ringleaders had gone to bed 
comparatively early in the evening, and had not left each other during the night, which was true. 
They had gone to bed comparatively early, got up again and gone to the riot, and then returned to 
the Sunnyside, and gone to bed a second time." 

"One of the prominent ringleaders was a smooth-tongued agitator, Locksley Lucas, who stopped 
at my uncle's hotel, the Carter House. He was elected treasurer of an organisation to keep the 
Chinamen out of Vancouver for all time. Membership was $2.00 to raise a fund to get legislation 
passed. A lot of money was collected that way. It was out of the question." W.F. Findlay, 12 April 

The first post office, "Granville." 

"Before the fire, the post office was in a little store on the east side of Carrall Street, next to the 
Ferguson Block on the corner of Carrall and Powell streets. Up to the incorporation of the city as 
'Vancouver,' it had been known as 'Granville' for some years; after incorporation, of course, it 
became 'Vancouver.' 

"After the fire, the temporary post office was established in a cheap little shack at the extreme 
south end of Carrall Street, which Mr. John Hendry, manager of the Royal City Planing Mills 
Company of New Westminster, had erected to keep his books in. John Hendry had some small 
sawmills up the Fraser River, and afterwards bought out the Hastings Sawmill. The post office 
remained in that shack for a short time only, and was then moved to the north side of Hastings 
Street between Homer and Hamilton streets, near where the Kent Piano Company is now, and 
located in a small frame building afterwards used as a store by Bailey Brothers, early 
photographers. Its location there brought bitter complaints from the citizens that it had been 
moved 'so far out,' and the City Council was petitioned to use its influence to have it brought 
nearer in, and closer to the business section of the city. It remained there a year or so, and was 
then moved into the next block west, opposite the present C.P.R. Telegraph, later to the 
southwest corner of Pender Street and Granville Street, and finally to its present location at 
Hastings and Granville streets." 


tPMMSffi > 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_00103 
Early streets. 

"The C.P.R. opened up and rough graded, all at their own expense, a number of the streets west 
of Cambie Street; they had no interests east of Cambie Street. The summer of the fire, 1 886, they 
opened up and rough graded Cordova Street, Hastings Street, Pender Street, all west of Cambie 
Street, and in the spring of 1887, opened up Granville Street from water to water, from the Inlet to 
False Creek. They did not clear it the full sixty-six feet, but made a passable road leaving the 
stumps on both sides. From Burrard Inlet to the Hotel Vancouver they laid down a good planked 
driveway, ten or twelve feet wide. There were some other streets which they opened up and 
made passable. 

"Later the C.P.R. opened up what is now known as Granville Street South, clear through from 
False Creek to the Fraser River at the North Arm; of course, it ran through their own land. There 
was no road on Granville Street South, nor anywhere near it, before the C.P.R. opened it up; 
south of the creek there was not even a bush trail." 

The first hospital. 

"The first hospital was at the foot of Hawks Avenue, in the angle of Alexander and Powell Street. 
It was owned either by the C.P.R. or the construction people and consisted, in April 1 886, when I 
came, of a small wooden building and some tents. There were a lot of accidents during 
construction days; some of those who died were buried on Deadman's Island. The first hospital 
the city built was a tall wooden building on Beatty Street; the second hospital was the brick 
building on the corner of Cambie and Pender streets, now used as a City Relief office. The old 
building of wood was torn down, I think, at the time the Rotary Clinic was built. 


"The hospital on Powell Street was kept going for quite a time, two or three years, after the C.P.R. 
line was completed. Dr. Lefevre was in charge; he kept it going. They were very good at that 
hospital; if you had money, you paid; if you were without, well, you got the best of treatment in 
either case. 

"Then there was some criticism, and the criticism caused its closing." 


"It was Chief Justice Matthew Begbie who held the first court in Vancouver after the fire, the case 
of Sullivan, held in the old Sullivan Hall on Cordova Street, built on the east end of the sixty-six 
feet on which the old Atlantic Hotel used to stand. 

"Jonathan Miller, constable and jailer before the fire, postmaster after it, acted as clerk of the 
court on several occasions. In 1 887, Mr. C. Gardner Johnson was registrar of the County Court. 
Mr. Johnson was brother-in-law of John Boultbee, our first magistrate, and in consequence was 
kept busy, too busy, with the appointments he received. He was also a special constable with 
myself and others to keep law and order after the fire. 

"The first court house, of course, was just around the corner from Carrall Street, on Water Street, 
and was where our first City Council met. It was burned in the fire. Just when it was built I cannot 
say; it may have been built by the Royal Engineers, or by the government; old maps show a jail 
and customs house there in 1870, and it may have been the original customs house, and built in 
crown colony days. 

"No. 1 Fire Hall, afterwards demolished, stood there in early years." 


"In the early days the provincial government built our schools and paid our teachers. The first 
school was, as is well known, at Hastings Sawmill; the second school, that is, our first city school, 
was on Cordova Street about two blocks east of Gore Avenue, built and paid for by the provincial 
government. Some agitation resulted in school trustees being appointed, but even then the 
provincial government furnished the money for two or three years, say, up to 1 888 or 1 889, and, 
quaintly, our teachers got five dollars per month less salary because they were teaching 'west of 

"The third school was on the site of the present Central School, a long low wooden building about 
the middle of the block and close to Hamilton Street, and one storey. Of that block the city owned 
the Pender Street half; the C.P.R. gave the other half, that next Dunsmuir Street, where the 
school board offices are now, for a high school site. The gift was in the form of a letter, and for 
many years the city had no title to that property other than that letter, a fact which I pointed out to 
the civic authorities a few years since, when they secured a proper title, as a result of my pointing 
that out to them. 

"The C.P.R. was very good to Vancouver in the early days. The Townsite Commission, R.B. 
Angus and Lord Strathcona, were both big minded men; they fathered us; for instance, the C.P.R. 
paid their taxes, before they were due, when we were out of finances to meet city expenditures." 

The Cambie Street grounds. Hastings. George Black's. 

"The first ball games, cricket and baseball, etc., were played at George Black's at Hastings. 
George Black's Brighton House, a very early hostelry, was standing twenty years ago and was on 
the shore of a wide bay just north of Hastings Park where the Hastings Road, from New 
Westminster, reached the water. When the C.P.R. was built the line circled around George 
Black's hotel; the Hastings station was almost exactly opposite the hotel. It was of two storeys, 
stood perhaps 150 yards from the railway, and the surrounding land sloped gently down to the 
shore. Two shallow hollows with streams flanked it, one to the east and one to the west, and it 
was surrounded by considerable land, partly cleared, partly in small bushes. 

"Adjoining were two or three acres of rough lawn, and it was there that many early games were 
played. At the eastern end of these grounds was a barn dance hall, and in the days of later 


Granville and early Vancouver, George Black's was a most popular resort. The afternoon athletic 
games were frequently followed by barn dances in the evening. Charlie Queen, afterwards 
alderman, who drove the daily stage, used to take the boys out to Hastings free of charge; there 
was no charge for the grounds or barn. 

"But the Hastings ball ground was very cramped and, as Vancouver grew, too far away for 
convenience. When the question of grounds for athletics came up, Alderman Hamilton, also 
C.P.R. land commissioner, naturally wanted the Cambie Street location; Alderman Oppenheimer 
naturally wanted the Powell Street site. We had a lively time between the two interests, and 
although we got the Cambie Street grounds first, we ultimately got both. 

"The C.P.R. rough cleared most of the Cambie Street grounds; the prisoners of the chain gang, 
under John Clough, did a lot more; the cricketers and the baseball boys worked hard, too. 

"The Powell Street Grounds, being more convenient for practice than Hastings, were at first used 
for that purpose and the matches played at Hastings." 

"Salmonbellies" and salmonbellies. 

"It was on the Cambie Street grounds that the famous New Westminster lacrosse players got 
their sobriquet 'Salmonbellies.' It was given them by an Italian bootblack, a well-known character 
about town, formerly of New Westminster, latterly of Vancouver, and who, following the usual 
custom of the days, carried his polishing outfit over his shoulder wherever he went. 

"One day in the early nineties, the Westminster lacrosse 'boys' came over to Vancouver for a 
game with the sticks. Vancouver gathered together a scratch team, and both teams, followed by a 
straggling crowd of pioneer 'fans,' assembled on the Grounds to play it off. The bootblack was 
'rooting' for New Westminster. 

"The New Westminster men got the ball down towards the Vancouver goal and tried to rush the 
net. The bootblack was 'rooting' vociferously, and in his excitement yelled, 'Git there, 

"The epithet tickled the jocular fancy of the onlookers — everyone heard it — much hilarity followed, 
especially amongst the Vancouver supporters, and the descriptive nickname fitted so well that it 
has survived ever since, and has in a measure attached itself to all who hail form the old salmon 
town. In the earlier days of the salmon industry it was centred largely on New Westminster, and 
perhaps Ladner's, not on Steveston as it afterwards was." 

It was remarked to Mr. Gallagher that, in Vancouver today, there are probably thousands of 
people who have no knowledge of salmonbellies, and who regard even the use of the word as not 
entirely polite. It was pointed out to him that, in the prize list for the British Columbia Rifle 
Association annual prize meeting held in New Westminster in 1877, one of the principal prizes, 
presented by S.W. Herring Esq., was a half barrel of salmonbellies, an epicurean delicacy well 
known to our pioneers. 

"And he gave a real prize," answered Mr. Gallagher. "The preparation of salmonbellies is a lost 
art now; the old fishermen at New Westminster knew how to do it; they are too hard now; the old 
fishermen knew how to keep them soft, and to preserve the fat. Down on the Delta the farmers 
used to boil them, skim the oil off, put them up in earthen crocks with cinnamon bark and cloves, 
and carefully cover them over again with their own oil. They kept for years and were delicious." 

"Tar Flats." 

"Tar Flats' was a collection of non-descript huts — and characters — on the shore of Burrard Inlet, 
beyond the present sugar refinery but not as far as Cedar Cove; a dirty place; a sort of rancherie, 
and got its name from some vessel." 

Early Stanley Park. L.A. Hamilton. A.G. Ferguson. 

"Mr. L.A. Hamilton, alderman as well as C.P.R. land commissioner, himself surveyed the first path 
around Stanley Park, and the present driveway is in almost exactly the same position as his first 


path, with one exception near the reservoir where, some years later, an alteration was made. He 
took his own time to survey the path, and was assisted by some of his axemen," continued Mr. 

"The late A.G. Ferguson, contractor under Onderdonk, took a very great interest, with Mr. 
Hamilton, in Stanley Park, and practically fathered it for, say, ten years. That brings to mind an 
incident worth mentioning in connection with Stanley Park. 

"Mr. Ferguson was an American, and when he was elected a park commissioner, while others 
were sworn in, he was excused that ceremony. He took such an interest in Stanley Park that, 
when the annual sum appropriated by the Council for its upkeep and development was 
exhausted, he himself invariably paid the bills to the end of the year. Being a civil engineer, he 
gave the grades for grading the roads in the park, acted as park foreman, and practically gave all 
his spare time to it, the other commissioners being agreeable to leaving it to him. Ex-Alderman 
Michael Costello told me that one year it had cost Mr. Ferguson five thousand dollars." (Costello 
was also a park commissioner.) "Mr. Ferguson was a very far seeing man, and purchased some 
of the finest corners on Hastings Street. Mr. Ferguson had no children of his own, nor had Mrs. 
Ferguson. Mr. Ferguson left a portion of his estate to his sister-in-law, Mrs. Ceperley, with the 
suggestion that, when she had no further use for it, it should be left to the city of Vancouver, and 
this gave us, ultimately, the Ceperley Children's Playground at Second Beach. I believe Mr. 
Ferguson stipulated in his bequest that the money should be used for a park for children." 


7 December 1939 

In conversation with Mr. Vaughn of Ceperley Rounsefell and Company today, I read the 
page to him. He said, "I knew Mr. Ferguson, and what you have written here is essentially 
correct so far as I know. 

"Mr. Ceperley was an American, so was the first Mrs. Ceperley, and I think Mr. Ferguson 
was too. Mr. Ceperley afterwards took out British papers. 

"The property Mr. Ferguson gave Mrs. Ceperley was where the Standard Bank is now, 
and also diagonally across the street. He gave her both. Arthur T. Ceperley in the city is a 
son of Mr. and Mrs. Ceperley. 

"Mr. Ferguson was a contractor; that's how he made his money." 

The Granville Hotel. Tom Cyrs. "Long bit," "short bit," 12 1 / 2 and 250. Liquor. 

"At Tom Cyrs' Granville Hotel on Water Street, every guest was entitled to an eye-opener — had a 
drink coming to him — before breakfast. The 'right' was not limited to Tom Cyrs; it was, in fact, the 
custom of the country. 

"The practice was that when a stranger went to a hotel, the first thing he did before going to his 
room was to go into the bar and, at a convenient moment soon after, he would announce that he 
was a stranger and would 'the house' (all present in the bar) have a drink 'on him.' One drink cost 
a 'short bit,' but you could buy six drinks for a 'long bit.' A short bit was ten cents, a long bit 
twenty-five cents. We had no nickels here for five or ten years after incorporation; they were in 
the country, but not in British Columbia, and for years after the city was incorporated, the miners 
coming down from the Cariboo would carry their scales and a poke of gold. 

John Clough. 

"The truth about John Clough is that he was so fond of the flowing bowl that he frequently got '30 
days and costs' for being 'drunk and incapable'; a man was not fined for being drunk, but for 
being 'incapable.' John was in so often," continued Mr. Gallagher with a smile, "that ultimately he 
became a 'trusty,' and finally they took him on the staff as 'jailer.' He had only one arm, and 
rarely, if ever, drove the chain gang wagon with its load of prisoners of the chain gang, himself." 


The old Court House on Victory Square. 

"'Chummy' Green, for fifteen years or so" (see A.E. Beck's, Memoir of Early Vancouver, re 
opening of Court House ceremony), "janitor at the old Court House on Victory Square, was so 
often in the cells at the old Court House that finally he, also, was put on the staff and made 
janitor." (Findlay says "true." JSM) "He was a sort of 'authority.' Mr. Justice McCreight and other 
judges were always in a hurry to catch the Victoria boat, and as they were hurrying away from the 
Court House to the C.P.R. Dock, would tell 'Chummy' when they would be back. 'Chummy' 
always knew when they were coming or going, and used to notify everyone." 

On Tuesday, 26 January 1 932, Mr. Gallagher left Vancouver for an extended pleasure trip 
through the Mediterranean, and these conversations ended. 

The above narrative had been read over three times with Mr. Gallagher, alterations and additions 
being made each time; the completed narrative has not, at this moment, 30 January 1932, been 
read by him. 

J.S. Matthews 

Water. Gas. 

"Of course," remarked Mr. Gallagher on one occasion, "you know that the charters for city 
services were granted, in some cases, before the incorporation of the city. For instance, the 
Coquitlam Waterworks, pretty well all Westminster people, and the Capilano Waterworks, 
pretty well all Victoria people, and the Gas Works charter, were all granted before the 
incorporation of the city. The first secretary of the Capilano Water Works was J.W. McFarland, 
who had been manager for Hugh Keefer, and afterwards was of Mahon, McFarland and Mahon." 


31 December 1931 - The Great Fire of 1886, casualties. 

Query: How many lost their lives? 


Mr. W.H. Gallagher (30 December 1931) -"We converted one of the buildings (on Westminster 
Avenue) into a morgue, and before daylight had deposited the remains of twenty-one persons 

Mr. W.F. Findlay (5 January 1 932) - "The largest number I ever heard computed was fifteen; 
others said it was thirteen; some eleven. I know of nine, and then, about a week later, they found 
two bodies down a well where the Mercantile Building is now, at the southeast corner of Homer 
and Cordova streets." 

Mr. H.T. Devine (5 January 1932) - "Well, I know we had eleven in one room down at the Bridge 
Hotel (Westminster Avenue near False Creek); then there was more down at the Hastings Mill, 
and those which were fished out of wells afterwards." 

Mr. W.H. Gallagher (30 December 1931) -"There was [a] man caught driving a horse and wagon 
on Carrall Street between Cordova and Water streets; man and horse perished in the middle of 
the street. It was down near Drake Street that the fire started. Three of our men who fought the 
fire there were never heard of again." 

Dr. H.E. Langis (5 January 1932) -"And they took my poor old skeleton and put that in the 
morgue, too. Do you know what they said when they found it? 'This poor old fellow must have 
been sick before he died; all his bones are wired together in the back.'" (Dr. Langis's "Jimmy" was 
preserved in his office at the corner of Abbott and Water Street, and the "poor fellow" was found 
in its ruins after the fire.) 


31 December 1 931 - Water Street. The Great Fire of 1 886. The "Customs 
House". Drug store. Photographer. Granville, 1886. H.T. Devine. 

"When I first came here," Mr. H.T. Devine, an early photographer who took many famous 
photographs of early Vancouver, now a financial and insurance broker on Seymour Street, "there 
was no bridge on Water Street. After traversing Hastings Road and passing the Deighton House, 
Water Street, such as it was, dipped down several feet and then rose up again near Abbott Street 
along the old shore. There was a bit of a sidewalk on the south side of Water Street. 

"McCartney Brothers had a drug store in 1886 on the southwest corner of Abbott and Water 
Street; it had been, in 1883 and 1884, the old Wilson store, and was burned in the Great Fire. 

"We built a large photograph gallery on Lot 6 on Cordova Street, and were in it three weeks 
before the fire. The day before the fire, father and I bought a building on the northeast corner of 
Alexander and Water Street, and paid cash for the building and leased the land. The next day we 
had not twenty-five cents. For two or three days after the fire we camped in the middle of Abbott 
Street, between Water Street and the lane; mother and my sister were in the tent, father and I out 
in the open on the side of the street. 

"The first 'Customs House,' after the fire, where Mr. Johns was a collector, was a little place on 
Lot 7 on Abbott Street, close to Water, almost exactly where we had camped." (This must have 
been the building which Mayor MacLean afterwards used for a "Mayor's office.") 

"At the time of the fire, so far as I recall, there were no buildings on the water side of Water 
Street, excepting the Sunnyside and Geo. Black's, but some were in process of erection. 

"Sullivan was a squatter, and, with Mrs. Sullivan and their sons Charles and Arthur, lived on the 
south side of Cordova Street. After the fire they put up the Sullivan Block. 

"The Chinese cabins were on Lot 15 on Cordova Street, in the stumps. They did our laundry." 

5 January 1932 - Reminiscences of a pioneer doctor, Dr. H.E. Langis. 

"Just adventure, that's why I came west; you know those were the days of 'Go west, young man,'" 
said Dr. H.E. Langis, now on a visit to his relatives at 1 708 West 40 th Avenue, Kerrisdale. Some 
twenty-two years ago he suffered terribly from rheumatism, and went to live at Parksville, and the 
change cured him and he has remained there since. He is now 74, and quite active and alert. 
One would have thought he was older — he seemed an elderly man thirty years ago, but he says 
his hair was white at 30, a family trait. He's a bachelor, and was formerly a partner of Simon J. 
Tunstall, M.D.; both were eminent and well known in their profession. Previously, and in the 
earlier days, his partner was Dr. McGuigan, afterwards mayor of Vancouver. 

"There was no street called Granville Street until after the fire of 1886. The way, the best way, to 
get to the big tree on Georgia Street, so well known in photographs as a real estate office, 
'VANCOUVER LOTS FOR SALE,'" (no, just an advertising stunt) "was to take a boat at Andy 
Linton's at the foot of Carrall Street, row to Spratt's Ark" (not "Ark" but "Oilery"), "walk up the skid 
road to where the tree stood on the site of where Charlie Queen afterwards built a hotel. I have 
walked up there, through the trees, before the fire, nothing to do of a Sunday afternoon, and had 
to go and explore the country; never went up purposely to see the tree. I know where it stood; it 
stood where Charlie Queen built his hotel." (Livery, not hotel. Queen's Livery stables, see Bailey 

"Spratt's Ark was at the foot of Burrard Street; the skid road slanted from there up to the Hotel 
Vancouver, ran diagonally. The John Morton-Brighouse clearing had just one shack. A man 
named Procter, maybe Porter, he married an Indian woman, was living in it; he was making spars 
for the British Admiralty about 1883 or 1884." (No. Spratt's Oilery had several buildings. Dr. 
Langis did not come 'til 1883. Procter lived in Stanley Park near Deadman's Island, I think. JSM) 

"In 1 883 I was at Port Arthur, in charge of a division (as medical officer on construction). I 
reached Victoria on 15 July 1884. British Columbia was pretty small in those days; about 3,000 at 


Victoria, Port Moody about 125. I was up at Yale for quite a time, then they all came down and 
settled in Yaletown, up around Drake Street. 

"I remember walking on the wharf at Port Moody with the Hon. Adolphe Chapleau; that wharf, and 
the (Neeping?) hotel at Fort William was one of the scandals of the C.P.R. construction. The 
government built the C.P.R., and they sent iron piles to build the wharf all the way from England, 
around the horn. The piles were lying on the Port Moody wharf in heaps; some may be there yet. 
The hotel in Fort William and the Port Moody wharf were items in the Pacific scandal; enormous 
waste of money; cost Sir John A. Macdonald defeat; McKenzie beat him. 

"Sam Greer was done out of his land; the government gave everything to the C.P.R., even the 
Granville townsite. 

"The squatters fought, but there was little they could do; some of them had to get out for the 
C.P.R. 'Jimmy' Orr, the member of parliament" (M.P.P.), "his place was two or three lots west of 
the corner on the north side of Cordova Street, about where Woodward's Garage is; they pulled 
his buildings down as fast as he could build them. 

"The prettiest little house in Granville, before the fire, belonged to Gillespie, the logging boss. It 
was on the south side of Cordova between Abbott and Carrall, next to Joe Mannion; Sullivan's 
was across the street opposite." 


See Peter Clair's garden (photo) almost next door but after the fire — pretty lot of flowers. 
Site of (about) Beacon Theatre (1936). 

"The 'C.P.R. Hotel' on Hastings Street was just a name; McPherson had it and a license; the 
C.P.R. had nothing to do with it, no interest." 

5 January 1932 - The Great Fire of 1886. Dr. Langis's skeleton. 

"I was away at the time of the fire, in New Orleans, from April or May 1 886 to January 1 887. I did 
not vote at the first election. I heard of the fire in New Orleans. 

"My skeleton was that of a Swede who had hanged himself over back of Moodyville about two 
years before; he was buried on Deadman's Island; that was where we got the skeleton found 
after the fire under my office. They used to bury people at Deadman's Island, and Brockton Point 
too, where the gun is; there was no cemetery which I can recall on the north side near Moodyville. 
Several whites were buried on Deadman's Island; McCartney, one of the three brothers — he had 
the drug store on the corner of Abbott Street, southwest corner, on the street — his child was 
buried on Deadman's Island. 

"I went over to Deadman's Island in April 1 886 and at the time of the fire the skeleton was in 
McCartney's store, and after the fire they picked it up in the ashes and took it to the morgue. And 
do you know what I am told they said when they picked it up? 'Poor fellow; he must have been 
sick before he died; his back is all wired together.' 

"I don't know how many were burned in the fire. We had no coroner in Granville; the district 
coroner was Charlie Hughes at New Westminster. My recollection is that the dead were buried in 
New Westminster; perhaps the coroner's records over there would show. 

"I have forgotten. There was a little wooden building on the corner of Hastings and Abbott Street 
before the fire, right opposite Woodward's." (See fire map of 1885, C.P.R. map of 1886, in Early 
Vancouver, Volume 3.) 

"The only one I recall being burned to death in the fire was Faucets; he was a soda water man; 
and then, there was a painter whose name I forget. I was away in New Orleans." 


5 January 1932 - The smallpox scare. 

"Oh yes, I should say it was a scare in 1893; we had thirty-two cases of smallpox, sixteen of them 
at Cedar Cove and sixteen at Deadman's Island. I was in charge at Cedar Cove and lost two; one 
was a woman, she was dying when she reached the hospital; the other was a man who 
volunteered — they said he had had the smallpox and was immune, but he drank, and he died. 
The people were so scared they would not let the Victoria boats land at the C.P.R. wharf, and 
passengers had to land at Hastings and walk back. The first case came from Victoria." (See Mrs. 
J.Z. Hall. See Mrs. Dr. Lefevre.) 

"Mr. Gallagher is not quite correct about the first hospital; it was not quite in the angle of 
Alexander and Powell Street, but on the north side, between Campbell Avenue and Hawks 
Avenue. The second hospital was a frame building facing on Pender Street between Cambie and 
Beatty streets. It was opened, I think, 1890" (try 1888), "and pulled down when they built the 
Rotary Clinic." 


(Wrong. They turned it around — now the Labour Temple on Beatty Street, 1 935.) 

The first City Hospital faced Beatty Street. The C.P.R. Hospital was on Powell Street and 
was used by the City until they built their own. 

See panoramic of Vancouver, 1890; also Dr. Robertson's in Volume 3 and J.B. Ray in 
Volume 3. JSM 

"Gardner Johnson did not hurt his leg in the fire." (See A.E. Beck) "He broke his leg doing chain 
work on the survey gang with L.A. Hamilton. 

"My records? I destroyed them, before I went to Parksville. 

"The first telephone? That was in George Black's meat shop in front of the old jail." 


10 January 1932 - Mr. Sam Greer. Greer's Beach. Mr. T. Mathews. 

Memorandum of conversation with Mr. Thomas Mathews, one of the executors of the will of the 
late Mr. Sam Greer of Greer's Beach. I remarked to him that it had been stated that Mr. Greer 
had been "bought off" by the C.P.R. for $40,000, and that he went to Florida and built a hotel with 
it. (See Greer's Beach, H.P. McCraney, 23 December 1931.) 

"That is an unqualified fable," said Mr. Mathews. "Mr. Greer never received anything from the 
Canadian Pacific Railway. Mr. Gideon Robertson, an old pioneer, told me before he died that he 
had, at one time long ago, been authorised by the C.P.R. to approach Mr. Greer with an offer of 
$12,000, but that Mr. Greer had indignantly refused it. 

"How could he have received $40,000 or anything else from the C.P.R. and then be still fighting 
his cause continually up to 1923 or later? The explanation of Mr. Greer's residence in Florida is 
that — a thing I did not know for many years — he served in the United States Navy during the Civil 
War, and was entitled to a land grant, went to Florida, got his land grant and built a hotel on it. In 
1 909 he was appealing to Sir Richard McBride, premier of B.C., to assist him in reopening his 
claim to Greer's Beach. 

"Mr. Greer did leave at his death some C.P.R. and Union Pacific Railroad stock; he had bought it. 
His estate, which I distributed, was less than $7,000. I will show you his account in my old ledger. 

"You see," pointing to the entry in the old book, "his estate was $6,984.64, and it was divided as 
per his will. You see, Mrs. J.Z. Hall, his daughter, got $790, and some of the others the same 

Query: What do you think of his case, Mr. Mathews? 


"If his land had been of no value, he would have had it yet, and you can quote me as saying so." 

Note: Mr. Mathews is a man of few words and of careful utterances. 

"Why, there were, as far as I remember, 4,800 signatures of the petition to have him released 
from the penitentiary. I helped to get up the petition which went to Ottawa. I got a lot of them, but 
his daughter, Mrs. Hall, got most; she was a 'brick' of a girl. The signatures came from 
everywhere, Victoria, Nanaimo and New Westminster, as well as here in Vancouver. 

"Block 1 82" (west of Trafalgar Street) "was owned by Hon. John Robson; at least, it was in his 
name, but it was always understood that there were others associated with him. Hon. Mr. Smythe 
was one, and some Victoria politicians and some C.P.R. men." (See The Fight for Greer's Beach 
in which Sir Frank Barnard, Major Dupont, Hon. Mr. Eberts, and T.H. White, then C.P.R. 
surveyors, are mentioned.) 

"I have always heard that his first wife was a very fine woman, but she was dead when the 
Greer's Beach trouble started. His second wife, who was there, was a foreigner, German, I think." 


1 1 January 1 932 - 6th Regiment, the Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles 1 899- 
1920. 7th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919. 1st B.C. 
Regiment, (7th Battalion C.E.F.) D.C.0. 1920-1930. the B.C. Regiment 
(D.C.O.R.) 1930. Major G.W. Melhuish, O.C., 6th Regiment D.C.O.R. 

"If the general order issued by the Militia Department in Ottawa in September 1 920 — in reference 
to the reorganisation of the old pre-war militia regiments, and their amalgamation with the 
disbanded overseas battalions to create units which would perpetuate the traditions of them 
both — was ever carried out in respect to the old 6 th Regiment, the Duke of Connaught's Own 
Rifles, in Vancouver, then, as the last commanding officer of that old regiment, I have no 
knowledge of it, nor ever had. I have no recollection of ever attending any meeting of the officers, 
ex-officers of both organisations for the purpose of selecting a commanding officer, nor have I 
ever heard of any other officer of the 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R. who did. What I do recall is an officer 
of the 11 th Irish Fusiliers — General Odium's pre-war regiment — named Daykin, a comparative 
stranger, coming to my office in the Rogers Building and asking me to sign a letter which he 
himself had prepared. So far as I recall now, it was addressed to the headquarters M.D. No. 1 1 , 
Victoria, and it said that Lieutenant Colonel John McMillan, our former quartermaster in the 6 th , 
and also for a time quartermaster in the 7 th , was a selection of the officers of the 6 th Regiment 
D.C.O.R. as the commanding officer of the perpetuating unit, now the British Columbia Regiment 

"I was astounded at his effrontery, and indignantly refused to sign anything of the sort. Colonel 
McMillan had not even returned from overseas; we did not know what he might want or desire, 
and besides, Daykin was never a 6 th officer; he belonged to another regiment, the 1 1 th , and I 
resented his interference very much indeed. He evidently was supported by someone else, 
someone in authority. 

"Another incident I recall was a telegram which Lieutenant Colonel John W. Warden, D.S.O., 
O.B.E., V.D., one of our old officers, sent to some friend in high authority at Ottawa, protesting 
against the treatment being meted out to officers of the old 6* Regiment D.C.O.R., and bluntly 
stating that he thought it was the work of Brigadier General V.W. Odium, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., 
whom I may add was never a friend, nor even fair, to the old 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R. 

"The proper man to have reorganised the old 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R. and 7 th Battalion C.E.F. into 
a new regiment perpetuating the traditions of both, was Lieutenant Colonel Warden, a 
distinguished and illustrious officer of both units, and who was held in high esteem. But John had 
no money to speak of, and he told me how he resented General Odium suggesting to him that the 
position required a man of means and affluence. 


"I am of the opinion that if the order as outlined in General Orders, September 1 920 for the 
amalgamation of the two units, [had] been carried out as Ottawa intended it to be, instead of by 
some secret subterfuge which put in a commanding officer selected by, presumably, General 
Odium and some of his cronies, the subsequent lamentable injustices suffered by faithful officers 
of the old regiment would never have occurred. The old 6 th D.C.O.R. was one of the most 
splendid regiments in all Canada, but the manner in which its services were rewarded in post-war 
years do not commend themselves to me. Its esprit de corps was smashed to atoms to no 
purpose, and no one can point with much pride to the career of its successor during the period 
1920 to 1930. 

"Whatever General Odium's judgments in war may have been, his judgments in peace time militia 
matters have always been mediocre, but in 1920 he had just returned, was at the zenith of 
popular acclaim, and he expected — and others expected too — he would achieve power and 
position in political life. His name was even mentioned for provincial cabinet rank, and for the 
ministry of militia and defence in Dominion politics; he was much sought after, and his wishes 
pandered to. But whatever it was, I am quite positive the meeting of all officers of both units to 
select a new officer commanding was never held; surely I should have heard of it if it had been. I 
was O.C." 

16 January 1932 - "North American Chinamen." Hastings Mill Store, now 
foot of Alma Road. Native Daughters of B.C., Post No. 1. Honourable S.F. 
Tolmie, Prime Minister of B.C. 

At the official ceremony of opening the museum of the Native Daughters of B.C., Post No. 1 at 
the old Hastings Mill store today, Premier Tolmie said as follows, in part, in reference to the 
expression, "North American Chinamen." He was speaking of the early days, and had mentioned 
that his family had occupied the same farm for 72 years. 

"Canada was very remote in those days. To reach British Columbia meant a long trip via Chicago 
and San Francisco, and then an 800 mile voyage up the coast to Victoria. Canadians who came 
by this long and expensive route frequently had exhausted their resources on the way." 

(Re above paragraph, comment by Mr. Gallagher: "All imagination.") 

"It was the unwritten law then that no man should buy himself a drink" (at a bar.) "He either 
bought for 'the house,' for his friend, or if none other were present, then for the barkeeper and 
himself. Canadians acquired a reputation for 'horning in,' and simultaneously the epithet, 'North 
American Chinamen.'" 

A large assemblage of distinguished pioneers and civic officials, including several ministers of the 
cabinet, the Mayor of Vancouver, and others were present. Dr. Tolmie's remarks were made in 
that inimitable style of pleasantry for which he is noted, gave no offence, merely added 
amusement, for there never was, nor ever will be, a more loyal son of British Columbia and of 
Canada than he is. 

In the days of the (hotel) bar, the treating system was rampant; a man who bought a drink, paid 
for it and drunk alone was regarded askance as a queer 'guy,' or he was ill and needed it 
medicinally. New arrivals in the country were not always familiar with the almost unbroken and 
unwritten law, and sometimes violated it, to the astonishment of the onlookers. In my day, 1900- 
1917, they came mostly from the United Kingdom. 


18 January 1932 - The Cambie Street grounds. Queen Victoria's Diamond 
Jubilee, 1897. 

Excerpt, World, 28 June 1897: "The chain gang is being utilised in cleaning up and putting in 
shape the Cambie Street grounds for the sports on July 1 st and 2 nd . When the celebration is over 
some grass seed should be sown to complete the job." 

Granville Street. Post Office. 

Excerpt, World, 28 June 1897: "The west side of Granville Street between the Post Office and 
Georgia Street" (post office on corner of Pender Street) "should be looked after by the Board of 
Works Committee at once. The long grass should be cut down before the 1 st of July in order to 
give the street a proper and business like appearance." 

Diamond Jubilee Celebration, 1897. Cambie Street grounds. 

Excerpt, World, 2 July 1897: "The naval forces" (H.M. Ships Imperieuse, Pheasant, and White 
Swan) "were mustered on the Cambie Street grounds, etc. etc. The total muster" (of militia and 
sailors) "was most creditable, some 700 men being in line" (column of march.) "The rope 
surrounding the grounds" (Cambie Street) "was entirely lined with people. The grandstand was 
fully occupied." 

Apropos of the above, there is in the Archives a photo of a naval parade of five companies 
marching past, and a hobbyhorse merry-go-round tent in the photograph foreground, on the 
Cambie Street grounds. This is the Diamond Jubilee naval parade. 

The absence from this march past of military men — other than those shown restraining the crowd 
from encroaching on the ropes — is probably accounted for by the fact that the Victoria and 
Vancouver artillerymen were having a reunion elsewhere in the city. 

18 January 1932 - Darktown Fire Brigade. Dominion Day Celebrations, 1 
July 1890. 

Excerpt, Daily News-Advertiser, 2 July 1890: 

"During the greater part of the day the heat was intense. 

"The firemen came next with the two engines." (This refers to Vancouver's fire brigade in 

"The best gesture without doubt, and one which caused a good deal of amusement, was the 
Darktown Fire Brigade. It was composed of employees of the Hastings Sawmill, who manipulated 
the hose reel attached to that institution. The chief marched in front decked out in all the 
elaborate finery which is supposed to characterise his holiday attire. His stature was certainly 
greater than that of the average tall man, and to increase this he wore a hat which his great 
ancestor Ham might have worn during the Flood when high hats were the craze. His blazer was 
of the most blazing kind, and his nether garments had been fashioned from a barber's pole. To 
complete the outfit he wore a large sunflower on his breast, and blue spectacles on his nose. 

"His followers were rigged out in equally unique style; the hose reel looked as if it had been 
through the wards. Indeed after inspecting it one saw the truth of their motto 'WE GIT DAR.' 

"The Darktown Brigade was 23 strong." 

A photo of this unique body is in the Archives department. It was taken on the old Hastings Road 
between Gastown and Hastings Mill. 


Copy by 
TT.J.Hoore Photo Co 

x5 hoatelry,l«~*«..v.r St .replaced earlier Cartar House d»troyed 
In creat fire 1336 wo weeks after opening, first three story bulld- 
Lin Vanc'r. Demolished 1921-2. gartered r olice forcing Buap.n- 
«lan city charter. China m Riots 1937. Or. verandah, Mrs (Margaret J) 
Tarter 3rd from lefts C.K. Tagger t,4th Chae E Doering.Sth Lewie Carter 
^nerVm Jo™ L. Carter, brother. Copyright W J Jiadley. 244 E 11th St 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_00104 


One building remains (X) 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_00105 

24 January 1932 - The Carter house. The Chinese Riots. Lewis Carter. The 
Great Fire of 1886. 

The first Carter House was an early hostelry facing the sea and whose upper rooms gave a good 
view of the inlet, built before the fire of 1 3 June 1 886 which destroyed it two weeks after it 
opened. Reconstruction was commenced within 24 hours on the first three-storey building in 
Vancouver; in those days, a three-storey building was a landmark. The famous hotel, in its 
heyday, gave accommodation to many historic characters, finally being demolished about 1921 or 
1922, and the site now (1932) occupied by the Pacific Mills Ltd. It stood at 166 Water Street. The 
original verandah was removed some years after erection. 

Mr. Lewis Carter, who had been a surveyor on the construction of the C.P.R. from Port Moody to 
Vancouver, cleared the ground with his own hands. A tremendous cedar stump, over twelve feet 
in diameter, had to be removed from the spot where the front door afterwards stood, and in 
removing its roots, water was struck and added to the difficulty, a fact which illustrates the low 
level of the land of Water Street in those days. 

A photograph of the second building, taken soon after erection, shows a verandah — the fashion 
with all hotels at that time — and on it Mrs. Margaret J. Carter, wife of the owner. The third from 
the left is C.E. McTaggart, afterwards manager of the Vancouver City Market (destroyed by fire) 
opposite the C.N.R. station; the fourth is Chas. E. Doering, of Doering and Marstrand, brewers of 
Mount Pleasant; the fifth Lewis Carter, the owner of the hotel; and the seventh John L. Carter, his 
brother and manager of the hotel. A painted sign states, "Meals and Beds, 250." 


Hotel verandahs went out of fashion, and it was removed in early years. 

Photo [is] in Archives and in possession of W.F. Findlay of Mount Pleasant, a nephew and a 

(Wt5y Ms* JZ.«aU. ^32.. 

Corp. J.Z.Hall , f:. C. 3.0, A, ,probholy first 
volunteer soldier of Vancouver— he jour- 
neyed, fron Vancouver to Westminster to 
attend drills, 1885. Later of "Killarney M , 
I Point Grey Road. C opi ed by W.J.Foore Photo 

New W«$l- 

photograph, of eayU unitomp. of ft* h.iitonic f*Rf»S in. 
(sl'mm-sl'tr. ft ls ^oiH ht ntvtr trussed. c<. drill . 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_00106 


24 January 1932 - The first volunteer soldier of Vancouver. 

The first volunteer soldier of Vancouver was probably Corporal J.Z. Hall, afterwards a well-known 
citizen and real estate broker of Vancouver, and resident at "Killarney," Point Grey Road, 
Vancouver, and whose wife, now, 1932, a widow, was formerly Miss Jesse Columbia Greer, 
daughter of Sam Greer of Greer's Beach and a brilliant, public spirited woman. 

Corporal Hall belonged to the British Columbia Garrison Artillery, and at first had a small 
stationery store in Granville. He journeyed to New Westminster to attend drills, sometimes 
walking, and sometimes reaching Vancouver in the early hours of the morning after attending 
drills. It is stated by his wife, Mrs. Hall, that he never missed a drill. His photograph, taken in the 
uniform of his corps in 1885, is in the Archives. He died in September 1925 or 1926. 

The first telephone in Vancouver was in Mr. Hall's stationery store. Mrs. Hall states that he told 
her that he had a telephone in his store long before Tilley's generally reputed to be the first 
phone. It was a toll line; 250 per call. 

The uniform of the B.C.B.G.A. shows a bearskin busby with white plume, and scarlet flap on the 
right side. The buttons are shining brass, the belt white with buckle surmounted with a grenade. 
The scabbard is for the long bayonet, and a beard is worn. 


Herring, who was in this unit in early days, told me the tunic was artillery blue, and so were 
trousers, which had a broad red stripe down seams. He said, "I never saw a red coat in New 
Westminster after the Royal Engineers left." 


City of Vancouver, survey of site for city, Canadian Pacific Lands, 
Alderman L.A. Hamilton. 

Copy of letter: 

Canadian Pacific Hotels 
Vancouver, B.C. 

J. Alex Walker Esq. 

Town Planning Commission 


Dear Mr. Walker: 

4 m Oct. 1929 

Town Planning Commission 
RECEIVED. Oct. 5th 1929 

I was most gratified on returning to the hotel to find your note and the 
book "Of a plan for the City of Vancouver." 

I am sorry I have to leave tomorrow by 9 a.m. train as I know I would 
have enjoyed a chat with you. I cannot say that I am proud of the original 
planning of Vancouver. The work however was beset with many difficulties. The 
dense forest. The Inlet on the north and False Creek on the south. The pinching 
in of the land at Carrall Street. A registered plan on the east and one on the west. 
My first plan was based on the cancellation of the plan to the west and "Lot 1 85." 
I had a new plan drawn making great changes in it. So made that all the streets 
leading westerly from the C.P.R. property would run without any jog with those in 
Lot 1 85. There were a number of owners in fact all but one consented to it. A Mr. 
Pratt (Spratt) who owned 4 lots on the waterfront where the lofty Marine Building 
is now being erected, had had a disagreement with the other land owners, and 
was determined to fight through the courts to prevent us altering the original plan. 
As we could not wait I had to adapt my plan as nearly as possible with the old 


plan, but in doing this was only able to give a continuous line for the alternate 
streets. You can understand that I was obliged to switch my plan so as to have 
the principal streets to run northerly and southerly, inasmuch as they would thus 
lead to a large block of land belonging to the C.P.R. south of False Creek. 

Expressing my regret at not being able to meet you. 

I am, Yours truly 

L.A. Hamilton 

The explanation of the above address given by Mr. Hamilton is that he was in Vancouver 
attending a meeting of the Anglican Synod of Canada of which, for many years, he has been 
treasurer. His address is care Canada Trust Company, Toronto. Mr. J. Alexander Walker is the 
secretary of the Town Planning Commission. 

VjctoYiO^aibout fCjt<j 

Item # EarlyVan_v1_00107